The number of children hit by bacterial meningitis has reached record lows
New government figures have suggested that the number of children suffering from the most common type of meningitis has fallen dramatically.
According to the data, 2008 saw just 12 Hib meningitis cases among the under-fives which represents a fall of 99%, from around 800 cases annually.
The impressive figures are believed to be due, in part, to a nationwide immunisation drive.
Speaking about the results, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "In just over 15 years, thanks to the NHS immunisation programme, cases of meningitis are at a record low.
"This is thanks to decades of research by scientists and dedication of NHS staff, and with the support of parents."
Data also shows that Meningitis C cases have dropped from around 700 each year to less than one on an annual basis thanks to a jab that was introduced in 1999.
Last Saturday (April 25th) marked the very first World Meningitis Day, which aims to raise awareness of the disease.
It believed there are more than 6,000 cases of viral meningitis in the UK every year and though it is rarely life-threatening, it can leave people with debilitating after-effects.
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