Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) have been used since the 1990s. It is a composite measure of years of life lost with years lived with disability. Essentially, one DALY is the equivalent of a year of healthy life lost if a person had not experienced disease. Norovirus is the most common cause of gastrointestinal diseases worldwide. Norovirus activity varies from one season to the next for reasons not fully explained. Infection with norovirus is generally not severe, and is normally characterized as mild and self-limiting with no long-term sequelae. In this study, we model a range of estimates of DALYs for community cases of norovirus in England and Wales. We estimated a range of DALYs for norovirus to account for mixing of the severity of disease and the range of length of illness experienced by infected people. Our estimates were between 1159 and 4283 DALYs per year, or 0.3–1.2 years of healthy life lost per thousand cases of norovirus. These estimates provide evidence that norovirus leads to a considerable level of ill health in England and Wales. This information will be helpful should candidate norovirus vaccines become available in the future.
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