How Long Does Rotavirus Last?

By Prev Info - January 19, 2023

How Long Does Rotavirus Last?

Rotavirus is a common viral infection that affects mostly babies and young children, although adults sometimes develop a milder form of the illness. Rotavirus is so common among children that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly all children will have a rotavirus infection by the time they are 5 years old.

Because rotavirus is such a common childhood illness, most parents want to know how to recognize the symptoms, how long the virus will last and how to treat it and prevent future infections.


Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea that is usually accompanied by vomiting, fever and sometimes dehydration. According to the CDC, rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea in infants and young children both in the United States and around the world.


Symptoms of the illness usually appear about two days after exposure to someone with a rotavirus infection. Healthy adults infected with rotavirus may have only mild symptoms or none at all. However, children with a rotavirus infection usually have a fever, nausea and vomiting followed by watery diarrhea. 

Because some children with rotavirus have severe or prolonged diarrhea, they may become dehydrated due to the rapid loss of body fluids. The signs of dehydration, include extreme thirst, little or no urination, a dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes and lethargy. Dehydration is a potentially life-threatening complication if left untreated. you should call your doctor right away if you or your child develop any symptoms of dehydration. 

Time Frame

The vomiting and watery diarrhea that accompany rotavirus may last from three to eight days, according to the CDC.


There is no specific treatment for rotavirus. The CDC  emphasize that drinking an oral rehydration fluid with sugar and minerals can help to replace lost body fluids and prevent severe dehydration. If severe dehydration occurs, body fluids may need to be replaced using an intravenous solution given in the hospital.


thorough hand-washing is an important way to prevent the spread of rotavirus infections. As of August 2009, two vaccines are approved in the U.S. to prevent rotavirus infections in young children, according to the CDC.



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