Did you know?

In Singapore, 1 in 10 cases of rotavirus occurs in infants less than 6 months old.1 Rotavirus is a common virus among children which affects the gut (stomach and intestine) and is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis hospitalisations among children worldwide.2,3



Symptoms usually start approximately 2 days after a person is exposed to the virus.4 Vomiting and watery diarrhoea can last 3 to 8 days.4

How it spreads

Rotavirus can survive on the hands for at least 4 hours and on contaminated surfaces for up to 10 days.6,7

Rotavirus is contracted when rotavirus particles enter the mouth.5 Individuals with rotavirus can infect others before symptoms show.5

How it spreads

Impact on health

Rotavirus can cause severe dehydration which can be dangerous and life-threatening.7 The younger the child, the higher the risk.7 Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids.8

How can i protect myself?

Who is at risk?

  • Infants, toddlers and young children below 5 years of age are at risk of contracting Rotavirus.4
  • Infants between 3-24 months are more likely to have severe infections than younger infants or older children and adults.10
  • Family and caregivers can also contract the disease by interacting with children.11



  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends receiving the Rotavirus vaccination* as the best way to prevent rotavirus.5
  • The Singapore Paediatric society recommends for infants to receive the rotavirus vaccination.12
  • Early protection through vaccination will lower the chances of getting infected with severe gastroenteritis, as the first rotavirus infection is generally the most severe.13

Please consult your healthcare professional for more information on the disease.


Everyday protection includes:7

  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Washing your hands after visiting the toilet.

Good hygiene such as washing your hands regularly is important. 7,8 Vaccination is a good way to prevent rotavirus infection.5

All Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs) who meet the criteria for vaccination under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) and National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) are eligible for subsidies for nationally-recommeded vaccinations.14


  1. Phua KB et al. (2010). Hospital Based Surveillance of Rotavirus Gastroenteritis in Singaporean Children <5 Years of Age. 12th Western Pacific Congress on Chemotherapy and Infectious Diseases 2010.
  2. Parashar UD, Burton A, Lanata C, et al. (2009). Global mortality associated with rotavirus disease among children in 2004. J Infect Dis 2009; 200:S9-S15.
  3. Parashar UD et al. (2006). Rotavirus and severe childhood diarrhea. Emerg Infect Dis 2006; 12:304-306.
  4. CDC. Rotavirus. Symptoms. Available at: Last accessed September 2022.
  5. CDC. Rotavirus. Transmission. Available at: Last accessed September 2022.
  6. Mrukowicz J, Szajewska H, Vesikari T, et al. (2008). Options for the Prevention of Rotavirus Disease Other Than Vaccination. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2008; 46:S32-37.
  7. Mayo Clinic. Rotavirus. Available at: Last accessed September 2022.
  8. CDC. Rotavirus. Treatment. Available at: Last accessed September 2022.
  9. Bernstein D et al. (2009). Rotavirus Overview. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2009; 28:S50-53.
  10. Dennehy PH et al. (2008). Rotavirus Vaccines: An overview. Clinical Microbiol Rev 2008; 21:198-208.
  11. Mast TC et al. (2009). The impact of rotavirus gastroenteritis on the family. BMC Pediatr 2009; 9:11.
  12. Singapore Paediatric Society. Childhood Immunisation Schedule. Available at: Last accessed September 2022.
  13. Cunliffe N, Zaman K, Rodrigo C, et al. (2014). Early exposure of infants to natural rotavirus infection: a review of studies with human rotavirus vaccine RIX4414. BMC Pediatr 2014; 14:295:1-9.
  14. MOH Nationally recommended vaccines