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How is rotavirus spread?

Page last updated 11 July 2018

Rotavirus infects the intestine (bowel) and is found in faeces (poo). Therefore, rotavirus is spread by the faecal-oral route, where people transfer rotavirus from objects and surfaces contaminated with faeces to their mouth, such as via their hands, or by consuming food or water contaminated with faeces. 

Contamination of surfaces, objects, food or water with vomit will also spread the virus. 

Practising good personal hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water for at least 10 seconds after going to the toilet, before preparing food, or after caring for a sick person, will help decrease spread of rotavirus. It is also recommended to keep children with rotavirus at home from childcare for at least 24 hours after diarrhoea stops.

Sources & Citations

  1. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.17 Rotavirus. Available at (accessed 7 April 2018).
  2. NSW Government, Department of Health, Rotavirus Fact Sheet. Available at (accessed 7 April 2018)
  3. Centers for Disease Control,.Rotavirus – Transmission. Available at (accessed 7 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0157a - Date of preparation May 2018