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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1998 Sep;17(9 Suppl):S189-90.

Haemophilus influenzae meningitis in Malaysia.

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Paediatric Institute, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



To determine the pattern of postneonatal childhood meningitis in Malaysia.


Retrospective cross-sectional study involving five pediatric departments in Malaysia.


There were 435 cases of clinical meningitis admitted to the five centers. More than 90% of the patients were <5 years old, and one-half were <6 months of age. The estimated overall incidence of childhood meningitis in the first 5 years of life was 76.7 per 100000 per year. However, of the 435 cases only 71 (16.3%) fulfilled laboratory diagnostic criteria and in only 58 of these was an organism isolated. Nearly one-half (48%) of all bacteriologically proved cases were caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). The mortality rate was 12.5% and 21 patients (30%) suffered neurologic sequelae.


More than one-half of all cases of culture-positive childhood bacterial meningitis were caused by Hib, although successful isolation of a pathogen occurred in only a small proportion of cases. For this reason the true incidence of Hib meningitis in Malaysia remains unknown. These findings are consistent with previous studies in Malaysia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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