1Resident of Pediatrics, Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2Professor of Pediatrics, Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3Associate Professor of Virology, Physiology Research Center & Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Diarrheal diseases are one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in infants and toddlers in developing countries and Rotavirus is the single most important cause of severe infantile gastroenteritis worldwide. This study was conducted to estimate the frequency and clinical manifestations of rotavirus infection in children below 3 years old with acute gastroenteritis referred to Kerman Afzalipour Hospital in autumn 2008 in order to emphasize on infants’ vaccination against rotavirus. Methods: In this study, 118 stool specimens were examined with Gel Electrophoresis for rotavirus. Children less than 3 years old who had gastroenteritis with duration of less than 2 weeks were included into the study. Results: From 118 stool specimens, 24.6% (n=29) were positive for rotavirus. Mean age of children with rotavirus gastroenteritis was 14.4 months. Fifty percent of rotavirus infected children were male and 50% were female. Clinical manifestations of rotavirus infections were fever (65/5%), vomiting (65.5%), rinorrhea (24.1%), mild dehydration (46.4%), moderate dehydration (35.7%) and serve dehydration (17.9%). From all, 51.7% of children with rotavirus gastroenteritis were discharged, 17.3% were admitted in the Emergency room and 31% were hospitalized in the pediatric ward. Conclusion: Rotavirus is a major cause of acute dehydrating gastroenteritis in children in our region. A considerable percent of these children need primary care, visit in emergency room and admission in pediatric ward. Therefore, further studies to pursue the cost effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine comparing to direct and indirect expenses caused by rotavirus gastroenteritis seems to be necessary.