Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants and children worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most children have at least one bout with rotavirus by age 2 or 3.
Although rotavirus infections are unpleasant, you can treat most of them at home with extra fluids to prevent dehydration. Occasionally, severe dehydration requires intravenous fluids in the hospital. Dehydration is a serious complication of rotavirus and a major cause of childhood deaths in developing countries.

Rotavirus infections are most common in winter and spring. Vaccines can help prevent rotavirus infection in your infant. For older children and adults — who aren't as likely to develop serious symptoms of rotavirus — frequent hand washing is the best line of defense.

A rotavirus infection usually starts with a fever, followed by three to eight days of watery diarrhea and vomiting. The infection can cause abdominal pain as well. In adults who are otherwise healthy, a rotavirus infection may cause only mild signs and symptoms — or none at all.

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