• An outbreak of gastroenteritis affected 19 of 34 geriatric patients and four of 23 staff assigned to the ward in a period of 31/2 weeks in January 1980. Fourteen of the 19 patients with gastroenteritis (17 were tested properly) and four of the ten asymptomatic patients (five asymptomatic patients were not tested) showed evidence of rotavirus infection by virus positivity and/or a significant antibody response to rotavirus. One of the four staff members with gastroenteritis showed serologic evidence (three were tested) of rotavirus infection. Nine of the 18 asymptomatic staff members (two remaining staff members were not tested) showed a fourfold rise in antibody to rotavirus but four had antibody titers of 1:32 or more. The patients had diarrhea for a mean of 2.6 days. Most of them had five or fewer diarrheal stools in one day. Six patients had a severe illness and two died. Thirteen of 15 symptomatic patients who had serum samples, collected during the acute and convalescent phases, tested manifested high titers (≥ 1:32) of complement-fixing antibody to rotavirus antigen.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:313-316)