Control Guideline for Public Health Units

Public health priority: Routine.

PHU response time: Enter on NCIMS within 3 working days of notification. Enter only confirmed cases

Case management: Responsibility of the treating doctor. Case should not attend work, school or childcare until 24 hours after symptoms cease.

Contact management: Responsibility of treating doctor.​

Last updated: 01 July 2012
  1. Reason for surveillance
  2. Case definition
  3. Notification criteria and procedure
  4. The disease
  5. Managing notifications

1. Reason for surveillance

To monitor the epidemiology of the disease and so inform better prevention strategies.

2. Case definition

A confirmed case requires laboratory definitive evidence.

Laboratory definitive evidence

Detection of rotavirus antigen by enzyme immunoassay (EIA), latex agglutination, electron microscopy (EM), reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) or polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) in stool.

3. Notification criteria and procedure

Rotavirus infection is notified by laboratories on microbiological confirmation (ideal reporting by routine mail).

Only confirmed cases should be entered onto the Notifiable Condition Information Management System (NCIMS).

4. The disease

Infectious agent

Rotavirus is a virus in the Reoviridae family. Group A is common in humans; group B in uncommon in humans but has caused large outbreaks in China.

Mode of transmission

Primarily faecal oral contact and respiratory spread may be possible.


The typical incubation period is approximately 24 to 72 hours.

Rotavirus is infectious for the duration of the acute stage of illness and later while the virus shedding continues. This usually lasts from 4 to 8 days but can be up to 30 days after onset of illness.

Clinical presentation

Rotavirus can present as a range of illnesses from mild, watery diarrhoea of limited duration to severe, dehydrating diarrhoea with vomiting, fever, and shock. Symptoms generally resolve in 3 to 7 days.

5. Managing Notifications

Response times

Data Entry

Within 3 working days of notification enter on NCIMS confirmed cases only.

For notified cases with a date of birth after 1 May 2007, ascertain their vaccination status from ACIR and include in NCIMS.

Response procedure

None routinely. When a cluster is reported in an institutional setting follow the Gastroenteritis in an Institution response protocol.