Childhood Haemophilus influenzae related deaths in England and Wales
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Aims: This study aimed to assess the contribution of Haemophilus influenzae disease to childhood deaths in England and Wales using national death registrations data. Subjects and Methods: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) routinely receives national electronic death registrations data for public health purposes. Records of children aged < 15 years who died in 2009 were scrutinised for any mention of: “Haemophilus”, “influenzae”, “Hia/b/c/d/e/f” or “non‐typeable/non‐encapsulated H. influenzae”. Results: Of the 4,436 children who died, only one death certificate recorded “Haemophilus bronchopneumonia” secondary to influenza virus infection. Follow-up revealed the Haemophilus species was isolated from post-mortem lung biopsy but had not been submitted to the HPA for identification and serotyping. During the same period, there were 126 children with invasive H. influenzae reported to the HPA, including 22 who were notified to have died. Most deaths (17/22, 77 %) were reported in neonates (n = 7) or 1–11 month-old infants (n = 10) and none had H. influenzae recorded as a cause of death on their death certificate. Conclusions: Death registrations data do not accurately capture the contribution of H. influenzae disease to childhood deaths. This finding emphasises the need for detailed clinical follow-up of reported cases in order to develop evidence‐based strategies for preventing invasive H. influenzae infections in children.
Journal of Public Health (Germany)
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified