National Surveillance System and Hib meningitis incidence in Italy

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In 1994, the Italian Ministry of Health implemented a National Surveillance System to obtain data on the incidence of bacterial meningitis and its causative agents, including Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). As a consequence, case reporting of Hib meningitis is increasing year by year; in 1996, there were 126 notifications, of which 73% were in children under 2 years of age. Although underreporting still exists, parallel prospective or retrospective epidemiological surveys conducted in some Italian Regions allowed for partial correction of the incidence of Hib meningitis (up to 18.5/100,000 population in 1994).

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