Sept. 2, 2003 — Ear infection is getting more and more common in kids, a unused think about recommends.

Ear contaminations increased all through the 1980s. That drift proceeded through 1994, report University of Rochester analyst Peggy Auinger and colleagues in the September issue of Pediatrics.

By 1994, about half of all kids got ear infections amid their first year of life. And more than 40% of kids got them over and over again by age 6.

More Kids With More Contaminations

Auinger’s group looked at surveys given to guardians of more than 8,200 children. The families were representative of the U.S. as a entire.

The percentage of kids who had ear infections some time recently age 12 months increased from 41% to 46%. This suggests that across the U.S., 561,000 more kids got early-onset ear diseases in 1991-1994 than in 1988-1991.

The percentage of kids who got three or more infections by age 6 years increased from 35% to 41%. This suggests that across the U.S., 720,000 more kids got repeated ear infections in 1991-1994 than in 1988-1991.

Are Immunizations Helping?

The Auinger study looks at data only up to 1994. Within the decade since at that point, there’s been more utilize of antibodies that avoid major causes of ear diseases. Have they worked? The jury’s still out.

The bug thought to cause most ear contaminations is called Streptococcus pneumoniae. That’s the target of the pneumococcal vaccine given to newborn children. And parts of kids get ear infections when they get the flu bug. More and more kids are getting yearly flu vaccines, as well.

The number of ear diseases is likely to alter following broad immunization of children with these immunizations, Auinger and colleagues suggest.

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