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Short course of zinc prophylaxis in infants for reduction of diarrheal episodes: A prospective study

Author: 
Shrishailesh D. Mantur, Abhijit, C. and Vinod, S.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Aim: Zinc deficiency is prevalent in children in developing countries and diarrhea is prevalent in worldwide. Supplemental zinc provides therapeutic benefits in diarrhea and prophylactic zinc supplementation reduces the diarrheal episodes and duration. Method: In this prospective study, we enrolled infants aged 6 to 11 months from urban slum areas. Total 28 slum areas were selected and we enrolled total 946 infants, these were randomly assigned as cases and control. Cases (473) received 20 mg of zinc orally every day for 2 weeks and rest 473 infants were assigned as controls. The primary outcome was the incidence and episodes of diarrhea. Results: In cases 382 (80%) infants had acute diarrhea and 452 (95%) in controls, whereas persistent diarrhea 35 (7%) in cases and 125 (26%) in controls. 48 (10%) infants of cases and 52 (11%) of controls had dysentery (p=1.007). Respiratory tract infection 122 (25%) in control and 48 (10%) in cases, whereas skin infection 34 (7%) in cases and 62 (13%) in controls. 15 (3%) infants of cases and 59 (12%) of controls had hospital admission. Conclusion: Present study highlights, prophylactic zinc supplementation for 2 weeks in infants aged between 6months to 11months has significantly reduced the incidence and duration of diarrhea during follow-up of 5 months and also reduced incidence of acute respiratory tract infections and skin infection.

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