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Child care may affect entire community's risks of infection

group play situation has real developmental and social benefits," said lead author Susan Huang, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. "The take-home message really relates to key preventive steps" that can keep children from becoming infected, such as vaccination against pneumococcus and good hygiene, Dr. Huang added. "The vaccine is very effective and prevents infection. In addition, wash [children's] hands and encourage their friends to wash their hands." Toys should also be cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of infection among playmates.

Calling the pneumococcal model "a highly simplified version of life," Dr. Huang emphasized that there are many factors that can potentially influence a community's level of pneumococcal carriage. "The model provides one hypothesis as to why some communities have a low percent of carriage in young children and other communities have a high percent of carriage," Dr. Huang said.


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
24-Mar-2005


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