Day care bugs increase hospital risk

3News 29 March 2014
New Zealand children placed in day care are 48 percent more likely to be hospitalised with an infectious disease than those who aren’t in day care, a new study has found.

The research, presented at the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) meeting in Adelaide this week, shows that New Zealand’s early childhood rates of streptococcal and staphylococcal disease are well above levels in other developed countries, with Maori and Pacific Island children particularly vulnerable.

The research Dr Mark Hobbs, of Auckland City Hospital and Auckland University, and colleagues also shows that the risk of infectious disease hospitalisation is:

– double for children of low birth weight compared with normal birth weight

– 34 percent higher for boys than girls

– 150 percent higher among Pacific children and 56 percent higher for Maori children compared children of European ethnicity

– 51 percent higher among children whose mothers smoke

– 66 percent higher among children living in urban rather than rural areas.