Noroviruses Causes One-Fifth of Worldwide Gastroenteritis

Norovirus more common in outpatient, community settings versus inpatient

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Worldwide, across all age groups, noroviruses are responsible for almost one-fifth of acute gastroenteritis cases, according to a study published online June 27 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Sharia M. Ahmed, M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies that used polymerase chain reaction diagnostics to assess the prevalence of norovirus in individuals with acute gastroenteritis.

Using data from 175 articles, the researchers found that the pooled prevalence of norovirus in 187,336 patients with acute gastroenteritis was 18 percent. Compared with inpatient settings (17 percent), norovirus prevalence tended to be higher in cases of acute gastroenteritis in community (24 percent) and outpatient (20 percent; P = 0.066) settings. In low-mortality developing (19 percent) and developed countries (20 percent), prevalence was also higher compared with high-mortality developing countries (14 percent; P = 0.058). There was no association found between norovirus prevalence and patient age and whether the study included years of novel strain emergence.

"Norovirus is a key gastroenteritis pathogen associated with almost a fifth of all cases of acute gastroenteritis, and targeted intervention to reduce norovirus burden, such as vaccines, should be considered," the authors write.

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