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How is rotavirus spread?

Page last updated 07 May 2020

Rotavirus infects the intestine (bowel) and the virus is found in the faeces (poo) of an infected person. Rotavirus is spread by the faecal-oral route, where people transfer rotavirus from objects and surfaces contaminated with faeces to their mouth, such as via their hands, or by consuming food or water contaminated with faeces. 

Contamination of surfaces, objects, food or water with vomit will also spread the virus. 

Practising good personal hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water for at least 10 seconds after going to the toilet, before preparing food, or after caring for a sick person, will help decrease spread of rotavirus. It is also recommended to keep children with rotavirus at home from childcare for at least 24 hours after diarrhoea stops.

Sources & Citations

3. NSW Government. Rotavirus Fact Sheet. Available at: (accessed 17 March 2020).

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. 13th ed. Washington D.C. Public Health Foundation, 2015.

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0157(1)a - Date of preparation May 2020