Objective: To determine the epidemiological and clinical profile of rotavirus-associated diarrhea in children under five years of age.
Methods: Clinical characteristics were recorded and stool samples collected from 180 consecutive children aged between one month to 5 years presenting with acute diarrhea, irrespective of hydration status, to the outpatient department or emergency room of a pediatric postgraduate teaching institute catering to middle or higher socioeconomic status groups.
Results: Rotavirus accounted for 27.8% (50 of 180) of all diarrhea cases, and 41.2% (14 of 34) in hospitalized children. Vomiting was present in 90% of children infected with rotavirus, fever in 66%, and abdominal pain in 54%. Hospitalization was required in 68.2% of children who had received the full course of rotavirus vaccine, and 96.4% among those who had not received any dose.
Conclusion: Rotavirus is a significant cause of acute diarrhea in children from higher-income groups. Rotavirus vaccine appears to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrheal episodes and, thus hospital admission rates.