Hospital-based study of the economic burden associated with rotavirus diarrhea in Hong Kong

E. Anthony S. Nelson*, John S. Tam, Ly Mee Yu, Ying Chu NG, Joseph S. Bresee, Kin Hung Poon, Chi Hang Ng, Kin Sing Ip, T. Christopher Mast, Paul K.S. Chan, Umesh D. Parashar, Tai Fai Fok, Roger I. Glass

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Background. Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in both developed and developing countries. Methods. To estimate the economic burden associated with rotavirus infection in Hong Kong, we combined data on the disease burden of rotavirus-associated hospital admissions with detailed cost data for a subsample of 471 children with diarrhea admitted to hospitals. Results. The annual total social cost and total direct medical cost for rotavirus-associated admissions were calculated as US $4.3 and US $4 million, respectively, by use of data collected during March 2001 to March 2003. The estimate of the direct medical costs was ∼4-fold higher than a previous estimate; this difference largely reflects the greater disease burden identified through active disease surveillance conducted under the auspices of the Asian Rotavirus Surveillance Network. On average, families spent US $120 when their child's admission was associated with rotavirus infection; this cost represents ∼10% of the monthly salary of an unskilled or service worker. Conclusions. These data emphasize the potential for a safe and effective rotavirus vaccine to reduce the economic burden associated with rotavirus disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S64-S70
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
    Issue numberSUPPL. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Infectious Diseases


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