Most people get better on their own in 3 to 8 days. The goal is to manage symptoms and promote healing. Choices are:
- Drinking plenty of fluids or an oral rehydration solution
- Medicines, such as:
- Anti-nausea medicines
- Nitazoxanide to ease diarrhea in children
- Probiotics or zinc supplements to reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea in children
There is a vaccine to prevent rotavirus in babies. It is given as 2 or 3 doses between the ages of 2 to 6 months.
The risk of viral infection may also be lowered by:
- Practicing proper handwashing, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper
- Not touching the mouth
- Avoiding close contact with people who are infected
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Bányai K, Estes MK, et al. Viral gastroenteritis. Lancet. 2018 Jul 14;392(10142):175-186.
Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Rotavirus. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/vaccine-preventable-diseases/Pages/Rotavirus.aspx. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rotavirus-gastroenteritis. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Rotavirus vaccine live. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/rotavirus-vaccine-live. Accessed March 8, 2021.