Complications attributable to rotavirus-induced diarrhoea in a Swedish paediatric population: report from an 11-year surveillance

Scand J Infect Dis. 2008;40(11-12):958-64. doi: 10.1080/00365540802415509.


The aim of this retrospective observational study was to evaluate age, length of hospital stay and development of complications in children hospitalized with community- or nosocomially- acquired rotavirus gastroenteritis (RV GE). In total, medical records of 984 children with RV GE were analysed retrospectively. The median age was 13.8 months (3 weeks to 99 months) in children with community acquired RV GE (n=723) and 9.0 months (range 3 weeks to 82 months) in children with nosocomially acquired RV GE (n=261). During this 11-y surveillance, only 2 children were admitted twice for a RV GE, suggesting development of subsequent protective immunity against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis after the first episode. Complications occurred in 16.5% of the children with community acquired RV GE and only in 1.9% of the nosocomially acquired RV GE. Identified complications in children with community acquired RV GE were: severe dehydration resulting in intensive care (1.7%), death (0.1%), hypertonic dehydration (9.1%), seizures (4.0%) and encephalitis with abnormal EEG (1.7%). The median age of children in need of intensive care was 9.1 months and in those developing hypertonic dehydration 10.8 months, both significantly lower than in children with no complications (p<0.05). Interestingly, the age of children developing seizures and signs of encephalitis was significantly higher than in children with no complications (p<0.01).

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / virology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Population Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology