The economic burden of rotavirus infection in South Korea from 2009 to 2012

PloS One
Kyung Suk LeeIn-Hwan Oh


Rotavirus is a common cause of diarrhea worldwide, and vaccination prevents rotaviral gastroenteritis. Since the rotavirus vaccine was introduced in Korea in 2007, the prevalence of rotaviral gastroenteritis has decreased. However, little is known on the economic burden of rotavirus infection and its variations in Korea. Here, we estimated the economic costs of rotavirus infection from 2009 to 2012 using nationwide data from the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) claims. Socioeconomic costs were subdivided into direct and indirect and measured with a prevalence-based approach. Costs were converted from Won to United States dollars (US$). The number of children <5 years old infected with rotavirus decreased from 21,437 to 10,295 during the study period, representing a decrease in prevalence from 947 to 443 per 100,000. The sum of direct and indirect costs also decreased, from $17.3 million to $9.6 million, and the days of admission decreased from 76,000 to 38,000. However, per capita expenditures slightly increased, from $809 to $934. Thus, the economic burden of rotavirus infection decreased after implementation of rotavirus vaccination. Including the vaccine as part of the national essential vaccination program could red...Continue Reading


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