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Clinical Features of Acute Gastroenteritis in Children at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku???Ozalla, Enugu


Ezeonwu BU*, Ibeneme CA, Aneke F and Oguonu T

Background: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children world‑wide with the highest incidence in the developing countries. The persistence and effect of this condition require a study of the features and characteristics of the disease especially, within any (each) locality in order to offer possible control solutions. Aim: To determine, the clinical and social characteristics associated with AGE among children seen in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. Subjects and Methods: A hospital‑based population study in which children admitted in the children emergency room of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital whose parents/caregivers gave their consent were enrolled, over a 7 month period. Appropriate statistical tools: Chi‑square, t‑tests, correlation and logistic regression were used to determine significant values and associations. Results: A total of 76 children with AGE were enrolled; 69.7% (53/76) were males. The mean age of the subjects was 11.3 (6.6) months. Majority 94.7%, (72/76) of cases of AGE occurred in children less than 24 months, with children 6‑11 months contributing the highest percentage 42%, (32/76). The study population was predominantly urban dwellers; 78.9%, (60/76, P = 0.40) and water cistern constituted 77.6% (58/76) of waste disposal method. Those who had potable water supply were 23.7%, (18/76, P = 0.30) and 19.7% of the children were exclusively breast fed. Fever and vomiting were the commonest associated symptoms, occurring in 82.9% (63/76) and 73.7% (56/76) of the subjects respectively. A good percentage of the subjects 64.5%, (49/76) had ORS before presentation. Conclusion: AGE is more common in older infants among those who were not exclusively breast‑fed and the severity was unrelated to place of domicile and waste disposal habits.

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