Please click the frequently asked questions below for further information and IPC precautions required:
What is Rotavirus?
Rotaviruses are a group of viruses that are a frequent cause of infectious gastroenteritis. Rotavirus may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramping and is usually spread by the faecal-oral route. Vomiting causes widespread contamination of the environment leading to indirect person-person spread.
Outbreaks are common in environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships. People of all ages are at risk of developing Rotavirus.
Why is this information important?
If NIAS staff are aware that the patient has a suspected or confirmed case this should be communicated to the Control Room (Emergency or Non-emergency as appropriate) and the staff in the receiving unit when transferring the patient to ensure effective patient care and management.
How is it spread?
People who are infected with rotavirus shed the virus in their stool. This is how the virus gets into the environment and can infect other people. Rotavirus is very infectious and transmits:
- following close contact with an infected person when they are symptomatic with diarrhoea and/or vomiting
- by eating undercooked shellfish that may have been sourced from polluted waters
- from food contaminated with the virus
- by touching contaminated surfaces and not washing hands with liquid soap and water
What are the symptoms of Rotavirus?
Symptoms of infection may include:
- abdominal cramps
- sudden onset of forceful vomiting – often projectile vomiting
- diarrhoea/loose bowel motions
- raised temperature/feeling flushed
- myalgia/general tiredness and feeling ‘unwell’
- Contact Precautions should be used.
- Hand Hygiene should be completed as per the 5 moments in line with usual practice using Soap and Water.
- Eye protection should be risk assessed
- Gloves and Aprons should be worn.
- The patient should be transported via ambulance with no other patients present.
- Laundry should be treated as contaminated, placed into an alginate bag and placed into a red laundry bag.
What cleaning is required?
All equipment and the ambulance should have a deep clean paying particular attention to touch points.
Do staff need any prophylaxis or follow up?
If staff have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of Rotavirus they should remain vigilant for any symptoms but there is no active follow up required.
If staff become symptomatic they should remain off work until 48 hours asymptomatic (72 hours if food handling).