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News

Rotavirus outbreaks caused by genotype G2P[4] at retirement communities

This month's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine reports on 2 rotavirus outbreaks caused by genotype G2P[4] at large retirement communities.

News image

Outbreaks of rotavirus gastroenteritis in elderly adults are reported infrequently but are often caused by G2P[4] strains.

In 2011, outbreaks were reported in 2 Illinois retirement facilities.

Dr Cristina Cardemil and colleagues implemented control measures, determined the extent and severity of illness, and assessed risk factors for disease among residents and employees.

The researchers evaluated cohort studies using surveys and medical chart abstraction.

Residents and employees at both facilities and community residents with rotavirus disease.

At facility B, 11% were identified
Annals of Internal Medicine

The team's measurements included attack rates, hospitalization rates, and rotavirus genotype.

At facility A, 26% were identified with clinical or laboratory-confirmed rotavirus gastroenteritis, and 13% were hospitalized.

The research team reported that the outbreak lasted 7 weeks.

At facility B, 11% were identified, and 21% were hospitalized.

The facility B outbreak lasted 9 weeks.

The researchers identified ill employees at both locations.

In each facility, attack rates seemed to differ by residential setting, with the lowest rates among those in more separated settings or with high baseline level of infection control measures.

The team found that the causative genotype for both outbreaks was G2P[4].

The team noted that some individuals shed virus detected by enzyme immunoassay or genotyping reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for at least 35 days.

The researchers observed G2P[4] in 89% samples from the older adult community but only 38% pediatric samples.

Dr Cardemil's concluded, "Rotavirus outbreaks can occur among elderly adults in residential facilities, and can result in considerable morbidity."

"Among older adults, G2P[4] may be of unique importance."

"Health professionals should consider rotavirus as a cause of acute gastroenteritis in adults."

Ann Intern Med 2012; 157(9): 621-631
08 November 2012

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