A rotavirus outbreak that has affected some 3,000 people in Swaziland over the past three weeks has resulted in 36 fatalities, according to a Swazi Observer news report today.


In an announcement by Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini, 3,042 cases of diarrhea due to rotavirus were treated in outpatient departments of hospitals countrywide. More than 500 children affected required hospitalization for their illness.

Dlamini assured the public that all treatment requirements for the management of the disease have been distributed to all facilities and health workers have been refreshed on case management and treatment guidelines. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rotavirus disease is most common in infants and young children, but adults and older children can also become infected with rotavirus. It is responsible for the death of over 600,000 children annually worldwide. Once a person has been exposed to rotavirus, it takes about 2 days for symptoms to appear.

Rotavirus is shed (passed from a person’s body into the environment) in feces (stool) of infected persons. The virus spreads by the fecal-oral route; this means that the virus must be shed by an infected person and then enter a susceptible person’s mouth to cause infection.

Rotavirus vaccination is the best way to protect children against rotavirus disease. The vaccines are very effective at preventing severe rotavirus disease in infants and young children. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page