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
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.
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
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