Rotavirus in Children
There is no medicine that will kill rotavirus. Therefore, treatment in children is focused on providing supportive care while the body fights the virus. Supportive care refers to the treating of symptoms, such as dehydration, that can occur as a result of the rotavirus infection.
Fortunately, for children with healthy immune systems, the body is able to effectively kill rotavirus, and after 3 to 9 days, rotavirus symptoms generally improve.
(Click Rotavirus Treatment for more information.)
While it is important that you wash your child's hands regularly, better hygiene and sanitation have not significantly reduced rotavirus disease. A new, recently licensed vaccine (RotaTeq®) is the best way to protect your child against rotavirus disease.
Within the United States, in the first five years of life, it is estimated that:
- Four out of five children will develop rotavirus diarrhea
- One in seven will require a clinic or emergency room visit
- One in 78 will require hospitalization
- One in 200,000 children will die from rotavirus diarrhea.
This results in about 400,000 doctor visits, more than 200,000 emergency room visits, 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and between 20 and 60 related deaths in the United States each year.
(Click Rotavirus Statistics for more information.)