MONDAY, June 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Implementation of rotavirus vaccination has reduced disease prevalence and season duration in the United States, according to research published in the June 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Benjamin D. Hallowell, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the long-term impact of rotavirus vaccination on disease prevalence and seasonality in the United States. National laboratory testing data were analyzed from laboratories participating in the CDC National Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Surveillance System during the prevaccine and postvaccine periods (2000 to 2006 and 2007 to 2018, respectively).

The researchers found a decrease nationally in the median annual percentage of tests positive for rotavirus, from 25.6 to 6.1 percent in the prevaccine and postvaccine periods, respectively. During the postvaccine period, the annual peak in rotavirus positivity decreased from a median of 43.1 to 14.0 percent and season duration decreased from a median of 26 to nine weeks compared with the prevaccine period. A biennial pattern emerged in the postvaccine period, with alternating years of high and low disease activity.

“Rotavirus vaccination has resulted in a significant and sustained reduction of disease prevalence and has modified the seasonality of rotavirus disease in the United States. To maximize the public health impact of rotavirus vaccination, efforts to improve coverage and on-time vaccination should continue,” the authors write.

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