EPIDEMIOLOGICAL, CLINICAL AND LABORATORY FEATURES OF ROTAVIRUS GASTROENTERITIS AMONG HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN LESS THAN FIVE YEARS OLD IN SELECTED HOSPITALS IN JORDAN, 2007-2008

Abstract

Background: Acute gastroenteritis continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortalityworldwide. Rotavirus causes more than 130 million episodes of severe diarrhea in children less than five yearsthroughout the world and is considered as main problem in many countries. Few data are available aboutgastroenteritis attributable to rotavirus in Jordan.Objectives: The primary purpose of this study is to determine epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristicsof hospitalized cases attributable to rotavirus gastroenteritis in children less than five years old in selected hospitalsduring the period May 2007-April 2008 to provide Ministry of Health with evidence upon which to base its futuristicdecision in regard to development of more suitable preventive measures. This study will improve the existing diarrheasurveillance system in MoH, facilitate and support the decision of introducing rotavirus vaccine in nationalimmunization programme.Methods: Descriptive Cross-sectional study was performed on the hospitalized children less than five years old withacute gastroenteritis in three selected hospitals in three governorates (north, middle and south regions) withpopulation about 45.3% of Jordan population for the period May 2007 to April 2008. Standard case definition wasadopted. Analysis was performed using SPSS and Epi Info statistical packages.Results: 377 cases were enrolled with 171 positive for rotavirus. Results showed that Incidence rate of rotavirusdisease is 5.2/ 10000 children less than five years old per year; male: female ratio is 1.8:1 with largest proportion ofcases among children 6-11 months old. Southern region has the highest incidence rate. Vomiting is an outstandingsymptom for rotavirus cases (P< 0.01) in addition to diarrhea and fever which require admission to hospital for fluidreplacement. Majority of rotavirus cases were with some dehydration (30%). Mean stay duration is 3 days.Predominant genotypes are G1P8.G2P4 and G9P untypeable.Conclusions: Although mortality of gastroenteritis is no longer a problem in Jordan due to accessibility to healthservices, morbidity is still high and rotavirus is a relevant cause for gastroenteritis in children less than five years old;which require hospitalization most of the time (45.4% of admitted gastroenteritis).