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Pneumonia-Causing Diseases Kill 1.2M Children

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Each year 1.2 million children under age 5 die from Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae B or Hib, which cause pneumococcal disease and are preventable with vaccines, according to studies published in the journal Lancet.

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The studies "found an estimated 14.5 million cases of pneumococcal disease such as pneumonia and meningitis worldwide, most caused by S. pneumoniae, with 826,000 deaths among children under 5.

Though safe and effective vaccines exist for both, use of the Hib vaccine has only recently expanded to low-income countries and pneumococcal vaccine is not included in national immunization programs in the developing world yet, the researchers found.