A longitudinal survey of rotavirus infection in heifer calves was carried out on a closed Friesian dairy herd over two successive calving seasons. Rotavirus was detected by electron microscopy in the faeces of 45 of 57 (79 per cent) calves examined. On average the virus was first detected at 6.1 days of age. Clinically the disease associated with rotavirus infection was of mild to moderate severity. Only one infected calf required intravenous fluid therapy. Diarrhoea or excretion of abnormal faeces was associated with rotavirus infection in 58 per cent of infected calves, while in the remaining 42 per cent infection was subclinical. The cycle of rotavirus infection was broken by thorough cleansing and disinfection of the calf house.
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