Rotaviruses (RV) are the most common etiological agents in acute gastroenteritis (GE) in children in the first years of life. Data from the national scientific literature show that RV is responsible of 26% of all cases of hospitalisation for diarrea in children, resulting the most frequently identified agent. The Italian database of hospital discharge, freely available from the web site of the national Ministry of Health, was searched to investigate the epidemiology of RV gastroenteritis. The mean number of hospitalisation for RV enteritis in children in the first 4 years of live was 4.758 in the years 2001, 2002 and 2003, representing 84% of viral enteritis. RV was identified as agent in 17% of all intestinal infectious diseases in this age group. This percentage shows the important role of RV in severe gastrointestinal infections; it is however much lower than the value expected from specifically performed surveys. This underestimation may be attributed to the high number of undefined gastroenteritis found in the database (54%), to the scarce sensitivity of the hospital discharge code, and to the fact that the analysis was performed using only the principal diagnosis. A specific immunisation strategy, safe, effective, cost-effective and easy to perform, could have a great impact on the incidence of the disease and on the associated costs.
|Translated title of the contribution||Hospitalisation associated with Rotavirus gastroenteritis in Italy, 2001-2003, evaluated by means of ICD9-CM diagnostic codes|
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Igiene e sanità pubblica|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2006|
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