What Is Rotavirus?

About RotaTeq


Rotavirus is an extremely common virus that is easy to catch from others, and it can be serious. Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

Rotavirus Is Highly Contagious

  • Rotavirus is usually spread through contaminated hands or objects, and can remain on surfaces for a long time.
  • Only certain disinfectants can kill rotavirus; many common soaps don’t work.

Symptoms of Rotavirus

  • Rotavirus may cause fever, vomiting, upset stomach, and watery diarrhea that can last from 3 to 7 days, and can quickly lead to dehydration (loss of body fluids).
  • Rotavirus symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. While many infected children may have few or no symptoms, your doctor can’t predict which babies will have a serious case of rotavirus.
  • A severe case of rotavirus could send your child to the emergency room or your child may be hospitalized.

Effect of Rotavirus

  • Nearly all children are infected by the time they are
    5 years of age. Historically in the United States, rotavirus infection was responsible for more than 200,000 emergency room visits and 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations each year.

You Can Help Protect Your Baby From Rotavirus

  • RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) is an oral vaccine used to help prevent rotavirus infection in children.
Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

It’s an extremely common and contagious virus that can be serious.

Talk to your doctor about RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent)

RotaTeq is a vaccine that can help protect babies against common types of rotavirus. Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants.


  • RotaTeq may not fully protect all children who get the vaccine.
  • RotaTeq should not be given to infants who are allergic to any part of the vaccine.
  • Your child should not get RotaTeq if he or she has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID).
  • Your child should not get RotaTeq if he or she has ever had intussusception, a form of blockage in the intestines.
  • The most common side effects reported after taking RotaTeq were diarrhea, vomiting, fever, runny nose and sore throat, wheezing or coughing, and ear infection.
  • Other reported side effects include: hives; Kawasaki disease (a serious condition that can affect the heart, symptoms may include fever, rash, red eyes, red mouth, swollen glands, swollen hands and feet, and if untreated, can be life threatening).
  • Call your child’s doctor or go to the emergency department right away if your child has any of the following problems after getting RotaTeq, even if it has been several weeks since the last dose, because these may be signs of a serious problem called intussusception:
  • bad vomiting
  • bad diarrhea
  • severe stomach pain
  • blood in the stool.
Read more Important Safety Information below


Intussusception happens when a part of the intestine gets blocked or twisted. Since FDA approval, reports of infants with intussusception following RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) have been received by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Intussusception occurred days and sometimes weeks after vaccination. Some infants needed hospitalization, surgery on their intestines, or a special enema to treat this problem. Death due to intussusception has occurred. A study conducted after approval of RotaTeq showed an increased risk of intussusception in the 21 days after the first dose of RotaTeq, but especially in the first 7 days.

  • There are some important things your doctor needs to know about your baby. Tell your doctor if your baby:
  • – Is sick with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • – Is not growing or gaining weight as expected
  • – Has a weakened immune system from a disease (such as cancer, HIV/AIDS or a blood disorder) or from medicine (such as steroids)
  • – Has received a blood transfusion or blood products recently
  • – Was born with gastrointestinal problems, had a blockage, or had abdominal surgery

The spread of vaccine virus to nonvaccinated contacts has been reported. Tell your doctor if you have someone in your household who has a weak immune system, cancer or is taking medications that can weaken the immune system so that your doctor can provide further advice.

Please read the accompanying Patient Information for RotaTeq and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.

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