Rotavirus cases have dropped by 84% since the introduction of a vaccine in July 2013, latest figures from Public Health England have found.
This is based on the comparison of the number of cases in 2015/16 peak season versus the average number of cases in the same period between 2003/4 and 2012/13.
Dr Shamez Ladhani, rotavirus expert at Public Health England (PHE), said: 'In the epidemiological year (2015/16), rotavirus activity remains very low and comparable to last season. Overall, annual rotavirus laboratory reports are greatly reduced since the introduction of the infant rotavirus immunisation programme in July 2013.'
The vaccine, given to babies at the age of two and three months, protects against the virus that particularly affects babies and young children under five causing diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach ache and fever.
Before the vaccination was introduced into the childhood vaccination programme, around 14,000 children were admitted to hospital each year as a result of the complications from the virus such as extreme hydration.
Rotavirus is spread in faeces through hand-to-mouth contact and can be picked up from surfaces such as toys, hands or dirty nappies. It’s most often spread when someone who is infected does not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet. Washing hands and keeping surfaces clean can help to reduce the spread of the virus. Vaccination is a much more effective way of protecting babies from getting infected.