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Trends in the Laboratory Detection of Rotavirus Before and After Implementation of Routine Rotavirus Vaccination — United States, 2000–2018
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Before the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the United States in 2006, rotavirus infection was the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis among U.S. children (1). To evaluate the long-term impact of rotavirus vaccination on disease prevalence and seasonality in the United States, CDC analyzed national laboratory testing data for rotavirus from laboratories participating in CDC's National Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Surveillance System (NREVSS) during the prevaccine (2000-2006) and postvaccine (2007-2018) periods. Nationally, the median annual percentage of tests positive for rotavirus declined from 25.6% (range = 25.2-29.4) in the prevaccine period to 6.1% (range = 2.6-11.1) in the postvaccine period. When compared with the prevaccine period, the postvaccine period saw declines in the annual peak in rotavirus positivity from a median of 43.1% (range = 43.8-56.3) to a median of 14.0% (range = 4.8-27.3) and in the season duration from a median of 26 weeks (range = 23-27) to a median of 9 weeks (range = 0-18). In the postvaccine period, a biennial pattern emerged, with alternating years of low and high rotavirus activity. Implementation of the rotavirus vaccination program has substantially reduced prevalence of the disease and altered seasonal patterns of rotavirus in the United States; these changes have been sustained over 11 seasons after vaccine introduction. Ongoing efforts to improve coverage and on-time vaccination (2) can help maximize the public health impact of rotavirus vaccination.

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