Short term clinical outcome of children with rotavirus infection at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

  • BO Osano
  • RW Kamenwa
  • D Wamalwa
  • JK Wang’ombe


Background: Rotavirus infection is the single most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in children under five years of age. Rotavirus gastroenteritis has a high morbidity and mortality in children in Kenya.
Objectives: To determine the short term clinical outcome for children admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital with rotavirus gastroenteritis and the correlates of poor outcome.
Design: Short longitudinal survey.
Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital from February to May 2008.
Subjects: Five hundred children were screened using a rapid antigen detection kit and ELISA.
Results: Of the 191 children who tested positive for rotavirus in stool; 172 children were recruited into the study. Eighty eight per cent of the patients were discharged within one week, 8.1% stayed for more than seven days while 4.1% died. Children who had co-morbidities such as malnutrition, rickets and pneumonia had worse outcomes. Conclusion: Rotavirus gastroenteritis has a long hospital stay and a high mortality. Children in shock on admission and those with co-morbid conditions should get priority for they have a poor outcome.

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eISSN: 0012-835X