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Incidence of norovirus-associated diarrhea and vomiting disease among children and adults in a community cohort in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

Abstract

We implemented active surveillance in 297 households in Peru from October 2012 to August 2015 to assess the burden of diarrhea and acute gastroenteritis (AGE) due to norovirus in a lower-middle-income community. During period 1 (October 2012-May 2013), we used a "traditional" diarrhea case definition (≥3 loose/liquid stools within 24 hours). During period 2 (June 2013-August 2015), we used an expanded case definition of AGE (by adding ≥2 vomiting episodes without diarrhea or 1-2 vomiting episodes plus 1-2 loose/liquid stools within 24 hours). Stool samples were tested for norovirus by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.

During period 1, overall diarrhea and norovirus-associated diarrhea incidence was 37.2/100 person-years (PY) (95% confidence interval [CI], 33.2-41.7) and 5.7/100 PY (95% CI, 3.9-8.1), respectively. During period 2, overall AGE and norovirus-associated AGE incidence was 51.8/100 PY (95% CI, 48.8-54.9) and 6.5/100 PY (95% CI, 5.4-7.8), respectively. In both periods, children aged <2 years had the highest incidence of norovirus. Vomiting without diarrhea occurred among norovirus cases in participants <15 years old, but with a higher proportion among children <2 years, accounting for 35% (7/20) of all cases in this age group. Noroviruses were identified in 7% (23/335) of controls free of gastroenteric symptoms.

Data on norovirus epidemiology among all ages in community settings are scarce, especially from tropical settings.

Norovirus was a significant cause of AGE in this community, especially among children <2 years of age. Inclusion of vomiting in the case definition resulted in a 20% improvement for detection of norovirus cases.

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