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Empyema has increased in incidence among children in the UK over the last 10 years but the reasons are unknown. In the USA the most common pathogen in childhood empyema is Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 1 and in Sweden the emergence of a new clone of this serotype was associated with a quadruple increase in invasive pneumococcal disease. Experience in Newcastle upon Tyne (OpenUrl) has confirmed the importance of serotype 1.
Between February 1997 and August 2001 a total of 47 children were referred from district hospitals to the …
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