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Poor housing link to meningitis

14th September 2006

15092006_childpoverty1.jpgA report from the housing charity Shelter says that children who live in overcrowded housing are up to 10 times more likely to contract meningitis.

The report, which has reviewed research into the effects of poor housing on children, says that children in bad housing have up to a 25% higher risk of severe ill-health and disability during childhood and early adulthood. 

The government has pledged to end child poverty by 2020, but Shelter warns policies have not backed up the promises. Helping children out of bad housing was an ongoing priority, said a government spokesman.

There are now more than one million children living in bad housing, says Shelter.  Its report shows that children living in damp and overcrowded surroundings are at higher risk of viral or bacterial infections, including bacterial meningitis. There is also a higher risk of tuberculosis and respiratory problems, including wheezing and asthma. It also warns that bad housing is linked to a three to four times higher risk of mental health problems.

The report recommends 20,000 more social homes to give children a better future.

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Article Information

Title: Poor housing link to meningitis
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 774
Date Added: 14th Sep 2006


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