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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2001 Jul;20(7):693-8.

Rotavirus in Ireland: national estimates of disease burden, 1997 to 1998.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Ireland.



We estimated the disease burden caused by rotavirus hospitalizations in the Republic of Ireland by using national data on the number of hospitalizations for diarrhea in children and laboratory surveillance of confirmed rotavirus detections.


We examined trends in diarrheal hospitalizations among children <5 years old as coded by ICD-9-CM for the period January, 1997, to December, 1998. We collated data on laboratory-confirmed rotavirus detections nationally for the same period among children <2 years old. We calculated the overall contribution of rotavirus to laboratory-confirmed intestinal disease in children <5 years old from INFOSCAN, a disease bulletin for one-third of the population. We compared data from all sources and estimated the proportion of diarrheal hospitalizations that are likely the result of rotavirus in children <5 years old.


In children <5 years old, 9% of all hospitalizations are for diarrheal illness. In this age group 1 in 8 are hospitalized for a diarrheal illness, and 1 in 17 are hospitalized for rotavirus by 5 years of age. In hospitalized children <2 years old, 1 in 38 have a laboratory confirmed rotavirus infection.


The disease burden of rotavirus hospitalizations is higher than in other industrialized countries. Access to comprehensive national databases may have contributed to the high hospitalization rates, as well as a greater tendency to hospitalize children with diarrhea in Ireland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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