Research Article

Clinical range of neonatal rotavirus gastroenteritis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 07 May 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1473
  1. J Dearlove,
  2. P Latham,
  3. B Dearlove,
  4. K Pearl,
  5. A Thomson,
  6. I G Lewis


    A baby admitted to a special care baby unit with profuse watery diarrhoea was found to have a rotavirus infection. A total of 196 babies were admitted to the unit over the next year. Routine stool samples were taken weekly from all babies and additional samples were taken from all babies who developed clinical signs suggesting sepsis. A total of 76 babies excreted rotavirus; 32 of these developed a diarrhoeal illness, 12 of whom were severely ill with bloody diarrhoea and abdominal distension; and two had perforations. The smaller, sicker babies who stayed in hospital longer were more likely to acquire infection; colostrum did not confer protection against rotavirus or symptomatic infection. The outbreak of rotavirus declined independently of the measures taken to eradicate it. Our findings suggest that neonatal rotavirus infection may occasionally cause severe gastrointestinal problems.