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Fact sheet - Health conditions directory

Rotaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause severe viral gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Before vaccines became available, rotavirus caused about half of all hospitalised cases of gastroenteritis in children less than five years of age. It is estimated that in Australia, about 4% of children were admitted to hospital with rotavirus gastroenteritis in their first 5 years of life.

The virus is highly contagious and can cause outbreaks among children in childcare. By 5 years of age, almost every child will have been infected with rotavirus.

In temperate climates, rotavirus diarrhoea occurs in seasonal peaks during cooler months. In tropical climates, cases occur throughout the year.

Last updated: 5 June 2023

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