ABSTRACT: Rotavirus infection is the most important cause of diarrheal illness in small children in both developed and developing countries. In addition to causing morbidity and mortality in children, the treatment of rotavirus gastroenteritis is a major economic burden on the health care system and families. The purpose of this study was to estimate the economic burden associated with rotavirus infection in Taiwan. To do this, we combined data on the disease burden of a rotavirus-associated hospital admission with detailed cost data for a sample of 2,600 children with diarrhea who were admitted to the hospital. The annual total social and hospital costs for rotavirus-associated admission calculated from data collected during April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2003 was US $13.3 million and US $10.4 million, respectively. On average, families spent US $294 when their child's admission was associated with rotavirus infection; this cost represents approximately 40% of the monthly salary of an unskilled or service worker. In conclusion, these data emphasize the potential for a safe and effective rotavirus vaccine to reduce the economic burden associated with rotavirus disease.
Vaccine 06/2007; 25(21):4266-72. · 3.77 Impact Factor