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J Infect Dis. 2009 Nov 1;200 Suppl 1:S140-6. doi: 10.1086/605028.

A retrospective evaluation of hospitalizations for acute gastroenteritis at 2 sentinel hospitals in central Japan to estimate the health burden of rotavirus.

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1
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Two rotavirus vaccines have recently been licensed for use in >80 countries worldwide but not in Japan. To assess the value of introducing rotavirus vaccination in Japan, data on the burden of rotavirus disease are needed.

METHODS:

To describe the epidemiology of severe rotavirus disease among Japanese children aged <5 years, we examined retrospective demographic, clinical, and laboratory data from the period 2003-2007 for children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) at 2 sentinel hospitals in Japan.

RESULTS:

At each of the 2 hospitals, 17%-21% of all pediatric hospitalizations were for AGE. Three-fourths of all AGE-related admissions occurred during the winter (December-May). Rotavirus testing was performed for approximately three-fourths of patients admitted with AGE in the winter, of which 55% at one hospital and 59% at the other tested positive. By extrapolating the test results to those patients with AGE admitted in the winter who were not tested, we estimated that 39%-44% of year-round and 52%-57% of winter hospitalizations were attributable to rotavirus. The annual incidence of hospitalization for rotavirus AGE in the 2 cities served by the hospitals was estimated to be 3.8 and 4.9 per 1000 person-years.

CONCLUSIONS:

The burden of severe rotavirus disease among Japanese children is substantial and warrants consideration of vaccination as a prevention strategy.

PMID:
19817592
DOI:
10.1086/605028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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