Epidemiological characteristics of norovirus infection in pediatric patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

J Med Virol. 2023 Jun;95(6):e28874. doi: 10.1002/jmv.28874.


To assess the epidemiological characteristics of norovirus infection. We included 5564 patients under the age of 18 years who visited the hospital in which the study took place from December 2020 to November 2022 with a primary diagnosis of acute diarrhea. Clinical information was extracted from the electronic health record system. We calculated the prevalence of norovirus infection by age, gender, season, year, and type of patients. A nonlinear association between age and prevalence rates was assessed using a restricted cubic spline regression model. A total of 5564 patients completed the test for human norovirus, among whom 1442 (25.9%) tested positive. The prevalence of norovirus infection was significantly lower in 2022 than in 2021 (35.9% vs. 53.7%, p < 0.001), and the highest prevalence was observed in winter (35.1%) and then followed by autumn (27.5%). Regarding the age pattern, the highest rate was seen in children aged 1-3 years (37.5%). Children at age 1.5 years may have the highest risk of having norovirus infection (Pnonlinear < 0.001). The prevalence of norovirus infection of norovirus during the COVID-19 pandemic was similar to that before the pandemic shown in literatures. A relatively high rate was observed in cool seasons and in younger children (i.e., 1-3 years).

Keywords: COVID-19; children; epidemiological characteristics; norovirus; patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Caliciviridae Infections* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Diarrhea
  • Feces
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Norovirus*
  • Pandemics
  • Seasons