The burden and cost of ambulatory cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis in central Israel

Michal Stein, Hector Roisin, Binyamin Morag, Sigal Ringel, Diana Tasher, Maya Vohl, Avraham Mizrahi, Meir Raz, Eli Somekh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While the burden of rotavirus infection with regard to hospitalizations has been extensively investigated, there are sparse data on the cost and impact of this infection on the ambulatory part of the health system in Israel. Objectives: To investigate the burden of rotavirus infection on the ambulatory system in Israel. Methods: Infants younger than 3 years examined for acute gastrointestinal symptoms in four pediatric clinics had their stool tested for rotavirus. The parents were contacted 7-10 days later and questioned about the symptoms of illness, medications given, use of diapers, consumption of formula, and any loss of parents' workdays. Results: Rotavirus was detected in 71 of the 145 stool samples tested (49%). A total of 54 parents responded to the telephonic survey. Patients' mean age was 15.4 months. Three patients were hospitalized due to the illness. The mean duration of fever was 1.7 days. Infants with rotavirus gastroenteritis had on average 2.25 days of vomiting and 7.5 days of diarrhea. The average number of workdays lost was 2.65 days per RVGE case. The cost of the average case of RVGE in Israel is 257 euros; 69.64% of this cost (179 euros) is due to parental work loss. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the economic impact of the ambulatory cases in Israel is quite significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-171
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Ambulatory patients
  • Burden
  • Cost
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Rotavirus


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