Acute gastroenteritis carries higher burden than thought

The impact of acute gastroenteritis, or infectious diarrhoea, may be higher in Switzerland than previously assumed. A recently-published paper finds that the disease is as costly as the flu. A “mild disease with high socio-economic burden”: this is how the authors of the report, based on 2014 data and published last week, characterize the impact of acute gastroenteritis (AG) in Switzerland. Though not a fatal or debilitating condition, the fallout from contracting AG is substantial. In 2014, the study found, an average of 2,146 cases per 100,000 people were reported at primary care level, with overall healthcare costs estimated between CHF33-51 million. Of the cases reported, 86.3% of working age patients were on sick leave, which lasted for a median of four days. The overall financial burden due to AG, including losses in productivity, is “likely a multiple” of the healthcare costs, the report says. Heavy burden This puts the potential burden of AG on a level similar ...

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