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  1. Michael Muir

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    Consultation rates for chickenpox in Wales are declining except for pre-school children. Using data from the General Practice Surveillance of Infectious Diseases Scheme, which covers over 200 000 patients in Wales, researchers found that consultation rates remained stable in 0–4 year olds but declined in all older age groups. The authors suggest that either an overall decline in transmission or increased social mixing in children aged under 5 years old is the reason behind the decline, and furthermore that more research is necessary before universal varicella immunisation should be considered in the UK. (



    The overall minimum prevalence of Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland is around 1 in every 595 births, slightly higher than previously reported. Researchers performed a retrospective observational study for the period between 1997 and 2001 and found a total of 208 postnatal diagnoses of Down’s syndrome, of which 197 were trisomy cases, three were translocation, and eight mosaic. According to the authors the marginally …

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