November 01, 2011
1 min read

Rotavirus vaccine decreased triage calls for all-cause gastroenteritis

IDSA 49th Annual Meeting

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BOSTON — Several studies have shown that rotavirus vaccine has significantly decreased rates of disease, but results of a new study presented here indicate that nurse triage call volumes related to gastroenteritis complaints in young children have also declined.

A study by Derek J. Williams, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, revealed that gastroenteritis (GE) call volumes have declined during the post-vaccination era and the decline was especially pronounced during the traditional rotavirus season.

Derek Williams
Derek J.

“This suggests rotavirus vaccine decreased the burden of mild GE in the community,” the researchers wrote.

The investigators, including Infectious Diseases in Children Editorial Board member, Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, analyzed data from May 2004 to April 2010 from a 24-hour electronic nurse triage system that provides support for pediatric practices in Middle Tennessee.

Kathryn M. Edwards
Kathryn M.

The study included all triage calls for children aged younger than 6 years from 32 practices in Middle Tennessee. Calls with a chief complaint of vomiting and/or diarrhea were included in the analysis, and weekly call volumes were calculated for GE and total calls. The weekly proportion of GE calls was the outcome variable, according to the researchers.

A total of 156,362 calls were logged during the study period, 19,731 of which were considered GE-related (12.3%). Compared with the pre-vaccine era, the proportion of GE calls decreased by 9% during 2007 to 2008 (OR=0.91; 95% CI, 0.86-0.97); 5% in 2008 to 2009 (OR=0.95; CI, 0.90-1.02); and 9% in 2009 to 2010 (OR=0.92; CI, 0.88-0.97).

Declines during the post-vaccine era were limited to the historical rotavirus season, with an overall decrease of 28% (OR=0.72; CI, 0.67-0.78). The reduction in calls was most significant during the months of March (28%-42%) and April (30%-46%), according to the study findings.

“These results also highlight the potential of a novel method for disease surveillance,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: Dr. Williams reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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