Aim: To determine the epidemiology of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children admitted to an urban hospital in a developing country from South-East Asia. Methods: Retrospective review of cases of acute gastroenteritis admitted to the children's ward of the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 1996 and 1999. Results: During the study period, 333 cases (24%) of 1362 stool samples, obtained from children admitted with acute diarrhoea, were positive for rotavirus. Acute gastroenteritis constituted 8.2%, and rotavirus infection 1.6% of all the paediatric admissions each year. Of the 271 cases analysed, 72% of the affected population were less than 2 years of age. Peak incidence of admissions was between January to March, and September to October. Dehydration was common (92%) but electrolyte disturbances, lactose intolerance (5.2%), prolonged diarrhoea (2.6%) and cow's milk protein intolerance was uncommon. No deaths were recorded. Conclusions: Rotavirus infection was a common cause of childhood diarrhoea that required hospital admission in an urban setting in Malaysia.
- acute diarrhoea;developing country;gastroenteritis;rotavirus infection
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