Rotavirus infection in Hong Kong: epidemiology and estimates of disease burden
Rotavirus gastroenteritis should soon be a vaccine-preventable disease. In a 10-year survey of rotavirus gastroenteritis conducted at the Prince of Wales Hospital (PWH), 2281 cases were detected of which 2213 (97%) occurred in children <5 years old. A consistent epidemic occurred each winter during the months of December and January. Of all laboratory-confirmed cases, 78% were community-acquired with a mean hospital stay of 4·7 days. The estimated incidence of rotavirus-attributed hospitalization was 2/1000 children <5 years old. Over the 10 years, rotavirus was responsible for one death, and contributory to three other deaths. On average each year, 195 children <5 years old were hospitalized for a total of 917 days in PWH, accounting for an estimated expenditure of HK$2·8 ([similar]US$0·4) million on hospitalization costs. The annual financial burden for rotavirus gastroenteritis for the whole of Hong Kong could be in excess of HK$9·6 ([similar]US$1·2) million.(Accepted December 15 1997)
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