Infection takes high toll in young children

y care and other organized activities for children -- therefore they are also potentially exposed to more infectious diseases, earlier."

"We also think that the reduction in bulk billing practices has seen more children treated at emergency rooms, which may increase the likelihood of admission into hospital.

"Now we can diagnose illnesses such as bronchiolitis more readily than previously. These are children that might have previously been labelled as having asthma, rather than bronchiolitis a viral infection," Dr Burgner said.

"We need to understand why some children develop more severe infections and are admitted to hospital and why these admissions are rising in non-Aboriginal children. This would allow us to develop prevention programs and better treatments to those at greatest risk".

The research team said the high rate of infections in Aboriginal children was of great concern.

"Aboriginal children are at high risk of multiple admissions and dying in hospital," Dr Lehmann said.

"Not only do hospitals need appropriate strategies to manage this high risk group once admitted, but we also need to acknowledge and act on the serious economic disparity, living conditions and primary care.


Contact: Tammy Gibbs
Research Australia

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