RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Incubation periods of viral gastroenteritis: a systematic review.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2013 September 26
BACKGROUND: Accurate knowledge of incubation period is important to investigate and to control infectious diseases and their transmission, however statements of incubation period in the literature are often uncited, inconsistent, and/or not evidence based.

METHODS: In a systematic review of the literature on five enteric viruses of public health importance, we found 256 articles with incubation period estimates, including 33 with data for pooled analysis.

RESULTS: We fit a log-normal distribution to pooled data and found the median incubation period to be 4.5 days (95% CI 3.9-5.2 days) for astrovirus, 1.2 days (95% CI 1.1-1.2 days) for norovirus genogroups I and II, 1.7 days (95% CI 1.5-1.8 days) for sapovirus, and 2.0 days (95% CI 1.4-2.4 days) for rotavirus.

CONCLUSIONS: Our estimates combine published data and provide sufficient quantitative detail to allow for these estimates to be used in a wide range of clinical and modeling applications. This can translate into improved prevention and control efforts in settings with transmission or the risk of transmission.

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