-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination has greatly
reduced the incidence of
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) among young children in
the United States over the past 20 years, a new study finds.
That strain was once the most common cause of bacterial
meningitis. The Hib vaccine was introduced in the mid-1980s.
But the researchers also found that other strains of
H. influenzae continue to threaten the youngest and oldest
people in the United States, according to the study published
online Nov. 11 in the journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The analysis of national data showed that the highest rates of
disease from non-b type strains occur in adults 65 and older and
infants less than 1 year old. Among infants, most cases occur
during the first month of life, with premature and low-birthweight
babies the most vulnerable, according to a journal news
Among adults 65 and older who become ill because of
H. influenzae, nearly 25 percent die, the release noted.
A disproportionately large number of both Hib and non-b type
infections continue to occur among Native American and native
Alaskan children, the study found. The reasons are not fully
understood and should be the focus of future studies, a researcher
said. Possible factors include poverty, crowded households and poor
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