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Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1999 Jan;88(426):42-7.

Diarrhoea-related morbidity and rotavirus infection in France.

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Réseau National de Santé Publique, Saint-Maurice, France.


To assess the importance of diarrhoea in France and, specifically, rotavirus-related diarrhoea among children, we reviewed data obtained from three complementary sources: (1) general practitioner (GP) sentinel surveillance; (2) hospital discharge data from paediatric hospitals; and (3) laboratory based surveillance. The GP sentinel network is based on 500 physicians who electronically notify new cases of eight illnesses, including diarrhoea, each week. It was estimated that about 3.3 million patients seek medical attention for diarrhoea from their GP each year, with a winter outbreak associated with an increased rate of isolation of rotavirus. A national system of hospital discharge diagnosis was used to estimate the burden of diarrhoeal morbidity in two paediatric wards in Tours, France. Between 1994 and 1996, 1164 patients under 15 y of age (9.7% of all admissions) were admitted for diarrhoea, of whom 83% were reported as having viral gastroenteritis; 14.3% were dehydrated and 52% were under 1y old. Hospital admissions had a seasonal pattern similar to notifications from sentinel GP for children under 5 y old. A centralized laboratory surveillance network representing 17 of the 22 French regions describes a rotavirus outbreak each winter that is concomitant of outbreaks detected by the GP sentinel network and seen in hospitals. Most of the isolates (98%) identified through this surveillance system are among children under 5y of age. All the data reviewed in this study indicate that the epidemiology of rotavirus diarrhoea in France fits well with what has been reported in other developed countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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