Rotavirus is the one of most diarrhoeal cases in developing countries for both children and adults. The transmission is via the faecal-oral-route; unwashed or poorly washed hands can be the source of contamination to people, water and food. Zoonotic infection also contributes to the increase of rotavirus infection. In order to avoid risk of infection, it is critical to be informed about the virus. This study aims to assess the knowledge and awareness of rotavirus infections from students from different faculties at the NWU Mafikeng Campus. This is a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted among students around the campus. The studies involved 261 students and were given a questionnaire based on their demographic characteristics, geographical settings and knowledge on rotavirus infections, based on Likert scale questions. About 70% agreed that they are from a rural setting, putting them at a higher risk of infection as most rural villages are mostly if not always, in close contact with animals. About 65.1% had knowledge about the symptoms of rotavirus infections and yet 51% did not know that ELISA can be used as a qualitative method for diagnosis of rotavirus infections. About 55.2% said that they did not wash their hands after handling animals again, putting them at a risk of zoonotic infection. About 54% agree that there is a need for further studies about rotavirus infections for increasing the knowledge particularly for people situated in rural areas who might not even have access to medical services, let alone the knowledge about rotavirus infections.
Keywords: Rotavirus, diarrhoea, awareness, knowledge, zoonotic.