Do adults get rotavirus?

Answer: Sometimes

Rotavirus is a horrible illness that causes 1-3 days of vomiting and a full week of watery green diarrhea (coming every hour). When my son had rotavirus, my husband and I did NOT catch it. This was before I became a stomach flu "expert". I didn't wear rubber gloves, and I had vomit and diarrhea all over me. I didn't clean with bleach. So, I got plenty of exposure to the rotavirus but just did not get sick. However, I know parents who DID catch rotavirus from their baby. These were laboratory confirmed cases of rotavirus. Most recently, a friend's 8 month old baby was very sick with rotavirus in March 2013. His mom and sisters (ages 4 and 8) got sick a few days later. The father never got it. This must have been a particularly nasty strain of rotavirus. I do recommend the rotavirus vaccine. Some children who get the vaccine still get sick with rotavirus. However, my daughter and second son both had the rotavirus vaccine and have never had rotavirus.

It is very important to clean with a product that actually kills norovirus when a stomach bug is in your home such as the Clorox® Hydrogen Peroxide Spray and Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Wipes.

If you have a rotavirus story to share with me, please e-mail me phd.annie at

--Annie Pryor, Ph.D.

Viewer Comments

I was reading on your stomach-flu site that Rotavirus can infect adults; it is true! Here is our story:

My toddler (2 years old) had Rotavirus (confirmed with stool sample) with 1 day vomit and 1.5 days with very watery and smelly diarrhea. My husband, my mom, our babysitter and I changed lots of diapers on those days. By the way our kid was fully vaccinated so we believe that it helped him to clear it faster!

Then, 2-3 days after we all got sick! We had mild diarrhea, bloating, stomachache, a few hours of low-grade fever and headache, malaise and pretty much felt really really tired. Our symptoms lasted mostly 1 to 1.5 days.

Interesting that my husband also had a very bad flare of his GERD with intense acid reflux up to his throat and ears (burning/itchy) during that course of illness.

I am curious to know if more parents got the Rotavirus like us from their kids! We know at least 5 more of our toddler’s friends and some of their parents that also got sick at the same time with Rotavirus (perhaps there was a circulating strain in our area). Also our pediatrician told us that he is seen abnormally many cases as well including entire families in these past months.

For us the worst were the first 24 hours; after that we only had bloated and cramps in the stomach and my husband remained with his reflux for quite some time.

Also, can the virus shed on the nose? I swear we had weird feelings in the palate-nose area at times when we were sick; specially my husband with his reflux.


My whole family had rota a year past jan. My then one year old started it, then my five year old who was on IV fluids in hospital for two nights, then my husband and I - just D*, then my Mum with V* and D*.