Epidemiology and Infection

Surveillance of small round structured virus (SRSV) infection in England and Wales, 1990–5

D. DEDMAN a1c1, H. LAURICHESSE a1, E. O. CAUL a2 and P. G. WALL a1
a1 Epidemiology Division, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC), 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK
a2 Bristol Public Health Laboratory, Myrtle Road, Kingsdown, Bristol BS2 8EQ, UK


Data from the national surveillance scheme for general outbreaks of intestinal disease, and the national laboratory reporting scheme were used to describe the epidemiology of small round structured virus (SRSV) infections in England and Wales. Between 1990 and 1995, there were 7492 laboratory reports of SRSV. Rates of reported illness were highest among infants, young children and the elderly. During 1992–5, some 707 SRSV outbreaks were reported. Outbreaks in hospital wards and residential facilities for the elderly accounted for 76% of the total, and annual numbers increased more than sixfold over the study period. There were wide regional variations in the numbers of SRSV outbreaks and laboratory reports. Both sporadic cases and outbreaks in the community are likely to be underestimated, but these passive surveillance systems provide an insight into the burden of SRSV infection among the institutionalized elderly.

(Accepted February 16 1998)

c1 Author for correspondence.