Epidemiology and economic losses of rotavirus infection associated with hospitalization of Armenian children
Keywords:Rotavirus, epidemiology, Armenia
Introduction: Rotavirus (RV) is the leading cause of severe diarrhea-associated morbidity and mortality among children worldwide. Limited data exist on the epidemiology and burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis in Armenia. The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic losses and describe the epidemiological characteristics of rotavirus infections in hospitalized children in Armenia.
Methodology: A retrospective chart review was performed of all children (aged < 5 years) with Rotavirus infection admitted to the “Nork” Republican Infection Clinical Hospital in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, between January and July 2014. Criteria of inclusion were age under 5 years old and presence of RV antigen in stool by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: The total number of patients was 126; average age was 28.7 ± 13.3 months; 54.8% were male. The highest number of cases (31.8%) was observed in April. Most of the patients (71.4%) were hospitalized in the first three days, demonstrating an acute onset of the disease. In total 19% of the patients had received RV vaccine and, despite this, were infected with RV. Based on bacteriological examination of stool, 18.3% of patients had RV infection combined with pathogenic or conditional pathogenic microflora. All patients spent 817 days in total in the hospital. Economic losses associated with hospitalization were 16340000 AMD (≈ 33346 USD).
Conclusion: Rotavirus carries significant morbidity and economic losses. Comprehensive estimates of the disease characteristics and introduction of a national immunization program against RV initiated in 2012 may decrease this burden. Further studies to evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of such a program are warranted.
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