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Rotavirus Infection

What is Rotavirus Infection?

This is a common gut infection in children less than 3 years old with symptoms of watery stools (diarrhoea), vomiting and fever. The fluid losses from diarrhoea and vomiting can be life-threatening if fluid replacement is delayed.

What causes the disease?

Rotavirus is one of the commonest organisms causing acute watery stools (or diarrhoea) and vomiting in young children. It is spread by the faecal oral route.

What is the vaccine and how is it given?

It is a live oral vaccine that contains 5 rotavirus types developed from human and bovine (cow) rotavirus strain.

It does not cause intussusception which occurred as a side-effect in a previously licensed rotavirus vaccine derived from the monkey strain of rotavirus. Intussusception is a rare condition in young children where the gut blockage is due to the sliding of the intestine into itself due to gut movement.

There are 2 types of rotavirus vaccine available i.e. RotaRix and RotaTeg. The vaccine schedule to follow recommendation by the respective manufacturer.

Who should receive the vaccine?

Parents may choose to vaccinate their young children against this disease.

Last Reviewed : 25 April 2012
Content Writer : Dato’ Dr. Jimmy Lee Kok Foo
Reviewer : Dr. Ranjini S. Sivanesom