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Vol 55, Issue 1 (2006)

Editorial

  • CDC Christie, HD Smith, KT Thame, ND Duncan
    Rotavirus gastroenteritis is the second most common disease of infants and young children. Each year, rotavirus causes approximately 111 million episodes of gastroenteritis requiring only home care, 25 million clinic visits, 2 million hospitalizations, and 352 000 – 592 000 deaths (median, 440 000 deaths) in children < 5 years of age, worldwide (1). By age five years, nearly every child will have an episode of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 1 in 5 will visit a clinic, 1 in 65 will be hospitalized, and approximately 1 in 293 will die (1). Children in the poorest countries account for 82% of rotavirus deaths. The most prevalent rotavirus serotypes which are responsible for over 80% of worldwide gastroenteritis infections are G1[P8], G2[P4], G3[P8] and G4[P8] (2). A previously licensed rotavirus vaccine in the United States of America was withdrawn from the market when it was associated with increased risk of infant intussusception (3).

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