Parents urged to ensure children have meningitis vaccine

RTE News report a specialist in public health medicine for the HSE has urged parents to review their children’s’ vaccinations and make sure they have had the meningitis vaccines.

Dr Suzanne Cotter said there has been a marked increase in meningitis cases over the last two weeks.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she said that there are two vaccines available for children.

She added that there has been a fall off in the uptake of these vaccines in recent years, for reasons that are not known.

Dr Cotter said the disease is dangerous because it moves quickly and can progress very rapidly.

She explained that someone can present with the symptoms and lose consciousness within a number of hours.

Time, she said, is of the essence.

Dr Cotter said the classic symptoms of the disease are fever, vomiting, a dislike of bright lights and a rash that does not blanch under a glass.

The HSE yesterday reported an increase in meningococcal disease, with 11 cases notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) since the last week in December.

Three patients diagnosed with it have since died.

All three deaths were directly due to the infection.

The HSE said meningitis and septicaemia can often happen together and symptoms can appear in any order, while some may not appear at all.


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