Saturday 21 October 2017

Worries at rise in meningitis C cases

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Stock picture

Public health doctors are concerned at the rise in cases of meningitis C, which can be prevented through vaccination.

Since the beginning of the year there have been 20 cases reported, compared to nine for the same period in 2016, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Although most of the children and young adults with meningitis C received at least one dose of the vaccine, a number were not vaccinated.

Some had not received the number of doses recommended for their age cohort. Of the infants under a year old, five of the seven cases had not been vaccinated.

The watchdog said since 2013, the number of cases in the 15-19 year age group and in people over 60 is notable. The introduction of the adolescent booster dose in the first year of secondary school will provide additional protection to teenagers most at risk of disease.

But vaccine uptake needs to be higher to be most effective - both for the individuals vaccinated but also the wider community, it said.

All parents are encouraged to ensure that their babies, young children and adolescents are vaccinated on time.

Irish Independent

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