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|Journal||Communicable Diseases Intelligence|
Over the four years 1989 to 1992 there were 28 cases of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis in children aged under five years in Far North Queensland.4 Thirteen (46%) of the cases were in Indigenous children, indicating that the rate of the disease was about 3.5 times greater in these children than in non-Indigenous children. However, no cases of Hib meningitis have occurred in Indigenous children in Far North Queensland in the 10 years following the addition of Hib vaccines to the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule in 1993. There was only one case of Hib meningitis, in a (vaccinated) non-Indigenous child, between 1994 and 2003. About 70 cases of Hib meningitis in children were prevented by Hib immunisation in Far North Queensland between 1994 and 2003; possibly as many as five deaths and 12 cases with neurological sequelae were also prevented.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract