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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 76-79

Frequency of rota virus infection among children in North-Eastern Region of Libya: A hospital-based study from Almarj

1 Department of Surveillance and Response, Public Health Administration, Ministry of Health, Al Khoms, Libya
2 Department of Public Health, Medical Technology College, Elmergib University, Al Khoms, Libya
3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
4 Department of Community Medicine, Medicine College, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salem I.M Alkoshi
P O Box 504, Zliten City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_17_17

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Background: Rotavirus causes a significant proportion of diarrheal disease among young children worldwide. However, there is limited knowledge about the epidemiology of rotavirus in Libya. This study aimed to quantify the burden of rotavirus diarrhea among children under age 5 years. Materials and Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in Almarj city between January 2011 and March 2012. Stool samples were obtained and tested for rotavirus from children <5 years admitted to the main public hospital for diarrhea. Patients with rotavirus were characterized by clinical symptoms; duration of diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and dehydration. Analyses of positive rotavirus patients were further stratified by breastfed versus bottle-fed children. Results: Rotavirus accounted for 57.4% of 270 diarrhea cases admitted to Almarj hospital. Rotavirus cases were more likely to be younger than 1 year of age (74% in rotavirus positive). Rotavirus patients commonly had symptoms 6 days (65%), and presented with vomiting (69%), high fever was uncommon (13%), and 42% had a normal temperature. Dehydration was common; moderate dehydration was seen in 79% of patients and 12% were severely dehydrated. About 89% of children infected by rotavirus cases were fed by bottle. Conclusion: There is a high burden of rotavirus in Almerj city located in North-Eastern region of Libya. While breastfeeding is recommended to reduce risk; increasing coverage of the rotavirus vaccine in children is likely to be the most effective and cost-effective strategy.

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