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Rotavirus is the most frequent cause of severe diarrhoea in children aged <5 y. A prospective, multicentre, observational study was conducted in Europe during the 2004-2005 rotavirus season. The study was undertaken in areas of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, to estimate the incidence of community-acquired acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) in children under 5 y of age seeking medical care in 3 settings: primary care, emergency department, and hospital. A post-hoc analysis was done to further describe the age distribution of children with RVGE. The study included 2846 children with AGE. Of 2712 children for whom ELISA results were available, 1102 (40.6%) were rotavirus-positive to the results section well. Overall, 86.1% of RVGE cases occurred in children aged between 3 months and 3 y, whereas 1.8% of cases were observed in infants aged less than 3 months. A total of 3.6% of cases occurred in children aged more than 4 y. These results suggest that, in Europe, routine vaccination for rotavirus should be offered to all infants in early childhood to be effective during the main at-risk period. This could significantly reduce the substantial burden of this potentially serious childhood disease.


Carlo Giaquinto, Pierre van Damme, REVEAL Study Group. Age distribution of paediatric rotavirus gastroenteritis cases in Europe: the REVEAL study. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases. 2010;42(2):142-7

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PMID: 19916900

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