Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Gastroenteritis due to Rotavirus Prevention

Prevention of rotavirus includes:

  • Do not share eating utensils.
  • Avoid contact with others who have diarrhea.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Rotavirus vaccine (Rotateq):
    • Can prevent diarrhea in 74% rotavirus cases
    • Can prevent 98% of severe cases
    • Can prevent 96% of hospitalizations due to rotavirus
    • Most common side effect is diarrhea

Gastroenteritis due to Rotavirus Vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine (e.g. Rotarix, Rota-Teq) is an oral vaccine. It is not given by injection. It does not prevent infection, but it does prevent severe infection. About 98% of children who receive the vaccine are protected from severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. As many as 74% of vaccinated children will not experience diarrhea if they are infected with rotavirus.

Dosing rotavirus vaccine is as follows:

  • First dose:
    • 2 months of age
    • Should be given between 6 and 12 weeks of age
  • Second dose:
    • 4 months of age
    • May be given at same time with other vaccines
  • Third dose:
    • 6 months of age
    • Children should have received all 3 doses by 32 weeks of age.

Who should not get the rotavirus vaccine or at least wait?
  • Any child who has had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of rotavirus vaccine
  • Any child who is moderately to severely ill at the time of vaccination should postpone the vaccine until they recover. Children with a mild illness can receive the vaccine.
  • If your child has a weak immune system, discuss the vaccine with your doctor.
  • Any child who has recently received a transfusion or blood product should check with their doctor prior to receiving the vaccine.

What are the risks of the rotavirus vaccine?

Continue to Gastroenteritis due to Rotavirus Outlook

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Gastroenteritis due to Rotavirus References
  1. Anderson EJ, Weber SG. Rotavirus infection in adults. Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb;4(2):91-9. [14871633]
  2. Glass RI, Bresee JS, Turcios R, Fischer TK, Parashar UD, Steele AD. Rotavirus vaccines: targeting the developing world. J Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 1;192 Suppl 1:S160-6. [16088799]
  3. Rivest P, Proulx M, Lonergan G, Lebel MH, Bedard L. Hospitalisations for gastroenteritis: the role of rotavirus. Vaccine. 2004 May 7;22(15-16):2013-7. [15121314]
  4. Widdowson MA, Bresee JS, Gentsch JR, Glass RI. Rotavirus disease and its prevention. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;21(1):26-31. [15687881]
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