While norovirus is increasingly recognised as being a key cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) globally, there are still not many specific estimates of the associated disease burden, mostly due to a lack of diagnostics. The authors were therefore interested in the incidence of norovirus-associated hospitalisations by age group in Taiwan. They identified cases from a national database for 2003-2013. During this period there were an annual mean of 101,400 gastroenteritis-associated hospitalisations in Taiwan (44 per 10,000 person-years), 83% of which had no identified cause. The overall estimated rate of norovirus-associated hospitalisations was 6.7 per 10,000 person-years, with the highest rates seen in children aged <5 years (63.7/10,000 person-years). The authors also predicted that norovirus cases peaked in 2006-2007 and again in 2012-2013. Therefore there is a large burden of norovirus in Taiwan, particularly in children, with the peak seasons coinciding with the emergence of new strains and resulting pandemics.
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