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FAQ

What is rotavirus?

Page last updated 07 May 2020

Rotavirus is a virus that belongs to the Reoviridae family. It causes viral gastroenteritis and is common in children. 

Some people, particularly infants under three months, may show no symptoms of infection. Or, people may experience abdominal pain, watery diarrhoea, vomiting, with or without fever. Severe diarrhoea and vomiting can cause fluid loss and dehydration that without medical treatment may be fatal. 

Although still relatively common in Australia, routine immunisation has successfully decreased the number of roatvirus cases, and the severity of symptoms and hence the number of hospitalisations due to rotavirus.

Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), it is recommended that children receive two doses of the rotavirus vaccine at 2 and 4 months of age.

Sources & Citations

2. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Rotavirus. Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/rotavirus (accessed 17 March 2020).

3. NSW Government. Rotavirus Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/rotavirus.pdf (accessed 17 March 2020).

5. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Rotavirus. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/rotavirus?viewAsPdf=true (accessed 17 March 2020).

6. Australian Government, Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/national-immunisation-program-schedule#national-immunisation-program-schedule-from-1-april-2019 (accessed 17 March 2020). 

7. World Health Organisation. Rotavirus. Available at: https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/rotavirus/en/ (accessed 17 March 2020).

8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rotavirus. Symptoms. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/about/symptoms.html (accessed 17 March 2020).

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

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