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CDC Warns of Rise in Childhood Infections Tied to Meningitis Germ

Posted in News by Skepdude on January 23, 2009

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) — Over the past year, five Minnesota children have fallen ill — one fatally — with a germ that can cause meningitis, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced at a Friday press conference.

That’s the highest number of cases recorded since 1992, when the vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae Serotype b (Hib) was first introduced, the CDC officials said. The last recorded death from Hib was in 1991.

“This is a situation we are quite disturbed about,” said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the Minnesota state epidemiologist. “The decrease in herd immunity we’re seeing is likely related to the vaccine shortage.”

“We’ve had [vaccine] supply problems during the last year with one U.S. manufacturer of the vaccine, Merck,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT YAHOO NEWS.

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