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Trop Med Int Health. 1996 Oct;1(5):679-83.

Aetiology of acute diarrhoea in hospitalized children in Hong Kong.

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Department of Paediatrics, Chinese University of Hong Kong.


To determine the role of enteric pathogens in acute childhood diarrhoea in Hong Kong, 388 children with diarrhoea and 306 children of similar age without diarrhoea were evaluated in a hospital-based study during a one-year period from August 1994 to July 1995. Of the diarrhoeal cases, 55% were under 1 year and 95% were below 5 years of age. On admission, 22% had some dehydration but none was severely dehydrated. All children were well nourished. Oyer 60% of children with diarrhoea had one or more pathogens in their stool. Rotavirus was the most commonly isolated pathogen (34.6%), followed by Salmonella (23.3%), Campylobacter (4.7%) and Shigella (2.1%). Rotavirus was not assessed in the controls and was detected mainly during the winter months December to February. Bacterial pathogens were identified more commonly in diarrhoea patients (30%) than in controls (5.6%) (P < 0.001). Despite rapid recent socioeconomic development in Hong Kong, non-typhoidal Salmonella diarrhoea remains a significant local problem in infants under 1 year. Further detailed assessment of the transmission and prevention of this infection is required.

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