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Epidemiol Infect. 2008 Jan;136(1):56-64. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

Climatic factors associated with hospitalizations for rotavirus diarrhoea in children under 5 years of age.

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National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


This study compares the seasonality of rotavirus diarrhoeal hospital admissions and its relationship to climatic factors across three Australian cities. Weekly admission of rotavirus diarrhoea (1993-2003) in children aged <5 years and weekly average temperature and relative humidity for each city were modelled using a log-linear model with a cubic trend and season. Interactions were included to test for differences in the effect of temperature and humidity between seasons and between cities. Admissions of rotavirus diarrhoea peaked in winter and spring and were lowest in summer. Higher temperature and humidity in the previous week were associated with a decrease in rotavirus diarrhoeal admissions in three cities. The effects of both temperature and humidity on rotavirus admissions in Brisbane differed across seasons. Strategies to combat outbreaks of rotavirus diarrhoea should take climatic factors and seasonal effects into consideration to plan for the excess seasonal hospital admissions.

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