Background / Aims: Rotavirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and young children. The diarrhoea caused by rotavirus is often severe and can lead to dehydration and hospitalisation. About one in 43 children are hospitalised due to rotavirus before they are five years of age. From 1 July 2014, the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, was added to the childhood immunisation schedule. It is administered orally at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 5 months of age. With the introduction of the vaccine to the routine immunisation schedule, it is important to undertake surveillance to monitor the impact of the vaccination programme. The Rotavirus Surveillance study specifically aims to monitor the burden of disease in children less than 5 years old, and to monitor viral genotypes and serotypes.
Methods: The surveillance population includes children less than 5 years of age living in the catchment areas of Counties Manukau Health, Wellington Hospital, and Christchurch Hospital. All children less than 5 years of age with acute gastroenteritis, defined as ?3 liquid stools in a 24-hour period, who present in the emergency department or admitted as inpatients are eligible. Children who develop diarrhoea while in hospital (?3 days after hospitalisation) and children who are readmitted or seen again in the emergency department within 14 days with gastrointestinal illness are excluded for their second visit. Nurses obtain verbal consent from parents to collect a stool sample and to collect information from their child’s medical records. The Rotavirus surveillance project commenced on 1 December 2014, with CMDHB as a pilot site. It expanded to two other sites on 1 February 2015 and included Wellington and Christchurch. Surveillance has been ongoing thereafter.
Results: No result of analyses available as of yet, as surveillance is ongoing.
Counties Manukau Health