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Vaccine. 2009 Nov 20;27 Suppl 5:F46-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.08.065.

Importance and challenges of accurately counting rotavirus deaths in China, 2002.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases, Epidemiology Branch, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Rotavirus mortality is an important component of the total burden of rotavirus disease for children under 5 years old, but accurate estimation is difficult for many developing countries. Here we applied a more direct method to improve estimates of rotavirus mortality in China using 2002 Chinese-specific data. Results indicate that in 2002, approximately 13,400 children under 5 years old in China died from rotavirus and 70% of these deaths occur in rural areas. Thus, a national rotavirus immunization program targeting rural areas with high mortality from diarrhoea could dramatically reduce these deaths and urban areas could reduce childhood hospitalizations attributed to rotavirus by 43%.

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