Epidemiology and Infection



Rotavirus infection in Hong Kong: epidemiology and estimates of disease burden


P. K. S. CHAN a1c1, J. S. TAM a1, E. A. S. NELSON a2, K. S. C. FUNG a1, F. A. B. ADEYEMI-DORO a1, T. F. FOK a2 and A. F. CHENG a1
a1 Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
a2 Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong

Abstract

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)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence.


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