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J Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 1;192 Suppl 1:S106-10.

Incidence and burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis in Japan, as estimated from a prospective sentinel hospital study.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

We assessed the burden of rotavirus infection-related disease, in terms of hospitalization and associated costs, at 3 sentinel hospitals in Akita prefecture, Japan. From January 2001 through December 2002, a total of 443 children <5 years of age were hospitalized for acute gastroenteritis. Of 422 stool specimens collected, 244 (58%) tested positive for rotavirus. Only 7.8% of the rotavirus disease-associated hospitalizations involved infants <6 months of age, whereas most cases of disease (39%) were reported in the second year of life, and 89% of cases had occurred by 36 months of age. The mean severity score for rotavirus gastroenteritis resulting in hospitalization was 16.5, according to the modified 20-point severity scoring system. The average associated direct medical cost was 136,000 yen (1236 US dollars) per case and was similar among the 3 hospitals. The estimated incidence of rotavirus disease-associated hospitalizations among children <5 years of age was 7.9-17.6 hospitalizations/1000 person-years, and the estimated cumulative incidence by 5 years of age was 6.6%. Thus, approximately 1 in 15 children will require hospitalization due to rotavirus diarrhea by their fifth year of life. In Japan, this would mean that 78,000 children <5 years of age would be hospitalized each year, resulting in a direct medical cost of 10 billion yen (96 US dollars million). The burden associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis in Japan is substantial and might be reduced through the introduction of vaccines.

PMID:
16088792
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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