The most likely place for your child to catch Haemophilus influenzae disease, the target of a new vaccine to be introduced this year, is in nursery school or the local creche with liberal policies toward cleanliness.
To determine the highest risks for Haemophilus influenzae b (or Hib), one of three causes of bacterial meningitis, which is epidemic in America, the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, studied 92 licensed day care centres (creches, or nursery schools in Britain).
According to their results, recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, the disease was most likely to occur where personnel used towels or handkerchiefs to wipe children's noses, had a "liberal faecal policy", ie, admitted children who were not toilet trained or had diarrhoea, and were for profit centres admitting children mostly of the same age.
Haemophilus influenzae is one of several diseases commonly occurring in American day care facilities, which largely cater for pre school children, primarily in children under two.
Meanwhile, the 1 May issue of MIMSmagazine notes that plans are going ahead to introduce the haemophilus influenzae shot into the vaccination schedule this year, even though results of tests in Alaska have been disappointing.