Minnesota asks parents to ensure Hib vaccinationsMinnesota health officials are urging parents to make sure their infants are fully vaccinated against a bacterial infection known as HiB.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota health officials are urging parents to make sure their infants are fully vaccinated against a bacterial infection known as HiB.
The caution comes after what officials say was a jump in cases in 2008. Five cases were reported. Health officials said today that three of those, including one death, came in children who hadn’t been immunized.
HiB is Haemophilus influenza type B. Minnesota epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield says the state hasn’t seen as many cases in young children since 1992.
The Health Department says a national shortage of the vaccine has existed since late 2007 and is expected to last until this summer. The department says that skipping the final booster shot in the vaccine series, as some groups have recommended to extend the supply, may be contributing to the jump in cases.
Lynfield says the disease can lead to severe illness, including meningitis and death.
On the Net:
Minnesota Health Department, Hib information: www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/hib/index.html.