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Rotavirus Infection In Children


Rotavirus is a virus that causes inflammation of the small intestine. The infection can prevent your child's body from absorbing water and nutrients from food. Rotavirus is most common in children younger than 5 years. Rotavirus can spread through coughing, food or water, or contact with the bowel movement of an infected person. Rotavirus can remain on objects, such as clothes or toys, for many days. The infection can spread when someone touches an infected object.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Your child's intake and output may be measured:

Healthcare providers will keep track of the amount of liquid your child is getting. They also may need to know how much he is urinating. Ask healthcare providers if they need to measure or collect your child's urine.


Your child may be put on isolation safety measures so he does not spread rotavirus to others. Healthcare providers and visitors may need to wear gloves, a face mask, or a gown. Visitors should wash their hands before leaving to keep from spreading germs.

Blood tests

may be done to check for dehydration.


Your child may need any of the following to replace lost fluids:

  • Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is a drink that contains water, minerals, and sugar. ORS replaces lost body fluids from dehydration.
  • IV liquids help treat dehydration by replacing lost body fluids.
  • A nasogastric (NG) tube is put in through the nose and down to the stomach. Liquids can be given through the NG tube if your child is not able to drink.


Your child's rotavirus infection may return. His risk for severe dehydration is increased. Rarely, a rotavirus infection may spread to the blood, organs, or brain.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.