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Peculiarities of Norovirus and Rotavirus Infections in Hospitalised Young Children

Narkeviciute, Irena; Tamusauskaite, Indre

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: March 2008 - Volume 46 - Issue 3 - p 289–292
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31814794f9
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objectives: To investigate the features of norovirus infection in hospitalised children under the age of 3 and to compare the results with those of rotavirus infection.

Patients and Methods: Case notes were randomly selected and retrospectively analysed for 70 norovirus- and 70 rotavirus-infected children. All of the children were treated in Vilnius University Children's Hospital in 2005. The norovirus antigen was assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the rotavirus using immunochromatography diagnostic assay.

Results: In young children, norovirus infection manifested as vomiting (94% of all cases), diarrhoea (81%), and fever (66%). It presented as gastroenteritis with fever (47%) or without fever (30%). However, 19% of cases were without diarrhoea. During rotavirus infection, fever was present in 97% of cases and 81% of them were >38°C. However, in norovirus infection, the percentages were 66% and 48%, respectively (P < 0.0001). Intensive diarrhoea (≥7 times/day) more frequently appeared in children with rotavirus infection than with norovirus (P < 0.0001). Repeated vomiting (≥4 times/day) has been more common for children with norovirus infection. As opposed to norovirus infection, which has 2 main syndromes (gastroenteritis with fever and without fever), rotavirus infection is dominated by just 1 clinical syndrome—gastroenteritis with fever (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Norovirus infection in young children can present as gastroenteritis with or without fever. Norovirus and rotavirus infections had statistically significant differences in the presence and the degree of fever, and the intensity of diarrhoea and vomiting, as well as frequency of different syndromes.

Clinic of Children's Diseases of Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

Received 19 January, 2007

Accepted 12 June, 2007

Address correspondence and reprint requests to I. Narkeviciute, PhD, MD, Clinic of Children's Diseases of Vilnius University, Santariskiu 4, LT-08406 Vilnius, Lithuania (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.