Rotavirus Infection

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quiz: Your Baby's First Year!

Can rotavirus infection be prevented with a vaccine? Are any side effects associated with the rotavirus vaccine?

Because the virus is so prevalent, it is very difficult or even impossible to prevent rotavirus infection in unvaccinated people. Even places with excellent standards of hygiene and sanitation can become contaminated. Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure and is very effective in preventing severe rotavirus disease in young children and infants.

There are two rotavirus vaccines are licensed for vaccinating infants in the United States, known as RotaTeq and Rotarix. Both are given orally and do not require an injection. The rotavirus vaccines are most effective if the first dose is given before age 15 weeks, and all doses should be complete by 8 months of age.

  • RotaTeq (RV5) is given on a schedule of three doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months.
  • Rotarix (RV1) is given on a schedule of two doses at ages 2 months and 4 months.

Side effects of the vaccine are very uncommon. As with all vaccines, rare allergic reactions may occur. Other uncommon side effects are temporary and can include irritability, vomiting, and diarrhea.

REFERENCES:

Nguyen, David D. "Rotavirus." Medscape.com. May 22, 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/803885-overview>.

"Rotavirus: Questions and Answers." Immunization Action Coalition. <http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4217.pdf>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "About Rotavirus." May 12, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/about/index.html>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Rotavirus." May 12, 2014.<http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2015

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