Persistent rhinorrhoea in rural Indian children: Prevalence and consequences

T. Cherian, S. Bhattacharji, K. N. Brahmadathan, M. K. Lalitha, P. Raghupathy, Mark C. Steinhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To determine whether persistent rhinorrhoea constitutes a significant problem requiring intervention, 17 rural day care (Balwadis) in Tamilnadu, India, were visited. Among 414 children in the Balwadis 92 (22 per cent) children with persistent rhinorrhoea (15 days duration or longer) were identified. Demographic and clinical data and nasopharyngeal swabs for bacterial culture were obtained from 56 such children and 91 age-matched controls from the same Balwadi. Type of housing or nutritional status did not appear to be significant risk factors. There was a significantly higher number of children aged 5-15 years in the household of cases as compared to controls (1.23 ± 1.08 vs 0.83 ± 0.95, p = 0.02). Other illnesses were noted in 25 (44.6 per cent) cases and seven (7.7 per cent) controls (O 11.5; CI, 4.13-33.4; p < 0.00001). Notably, chronic ear discharge was noted in 6(11.7 per cent) cases but in none of the controls (p = 0.007). Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from nasopharyngeal swabs in 42/49 (85.7 per cent) cases and 44/80 (55 per cent) controls ( p < 0.001) and H. influenzae from seven cases and five controls; S. pneumoniae was isolated in all children with chronic ear discharge and H. influenzae from one child. Serotypes of pneumococci commonly associated with otitis media, i.e., types 6, 14, 19, and 23 were isolated from 25 (51 per cent) cases and 16 (20 per cent) controls (OR 4.17; 95% CI, 1.78-9.85; p < 0.001). Persistent rhinorrhoea, presumably due to pneumococcus, is a common condition among rural Indian children and appears to be associated with chronic otitis media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-367
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of tropical pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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