Rotavirus-specific and Overall Diarrhea Mortality in Chinese Children Younger than 5 Years
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Rotavirus-specific and Overall Diarrhea Mortality in Chinese Children Younger than 5 Years

Filetype[PDF-672.22 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Pediatr Infect Dis J
    • Description:

      During the past decade, substantial declines in overall childhood mortality from diarrhea have been documented among Chinese children, but the last detailed assessment of rotavirus-specific mortality in China was conducted in 2002. To provide policy makers with up-to-date information, we examined rotavirus-related mortality in children <5 years of age in China during 2003–2012.


      We obtained mortality rates for children <5 years of age from the Chinese Health Statistic Yearbook; these figures were multiplied by the proportion of deaths in this age group attributable to diarrhea from the Chinese Maternal and Child Mortality Surveillance to obtain estimates of diarrhea deaths in children <5 years of age. To estimate rotavirus deaths, diarrhea death estimates were multiplied by the detection rate of rotavirus in children hospitalized with diarrhea from the Viral Diarrhea Surveillance System in China and from peer-reviewed literature.


      From 2003 to 2012, a total of 127,539 deaths from diarrhea were reported among Chinese children <5 years of age, of which an estimated 53,559 (42%) had illness attributable to rotavirus. Comparing 2003 to 2012, the annual number of deaths from rotavirus diarrhea decreased by 74% (from 10,531 to 2,791, respectively) and the mortality rate fell 74% (from 0.66 to 0.17 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively). Ninety-three percent of all rotavirus deaths occurred in rural areas, where mortality rates (0.33 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012) were 11 times greater than in urban areas (0.03 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012).


      Rotavirus diarrhea mortality has substantially declined in the past decade in Chinese children. The vast majority of rotavirus deaths occurred in rural areas. There is potential value in using rotavirus vaccine interventions in rural areas to further reduce mortality from this disease.

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