Meningitis is every parent's nightmare.
The HSE announced a spike in cases of this dangerous infection in the last week in December and the first week in January.
There have been 11 cases reported and three deaths. The HSE is now investigating a possible 12th case.
Several strains are covered but not all. And in the case of the B strain only children born since October 2016 have been given it as part of their normal infant jabs.
There are several, beyond the well known B and C.
Vaccinations routinely offered free as part of the normal immunisation schedule offer some protection against certain causes of meningitis.
Yes. Children born before October 2016 did not get the vaccine to protect against the B strain, one of the main forms of meningitis. Parents need to pay their GP to get it privately.
They included the B, C, W and Y strains. The HSE said the B or C strains were not involved in the fatal cases.
You must get the extra vaccines privately and pay for them. Your GP can give a vaccine to protect against the B strain for €280. There is also a meningitis ACWY vaccine at around €70. This protects against meningitis Y and W. There were 23 cases of the W strain, which can affect adolescents, in the last two years.