Children and staff at Bramfield Primary School in Halesworth, Suffolk, are to be offered antibiotics and vaccination against meningococcal group B meningitis and septicaemia (MenB), after there have been three cases of the disease at the school in six months.
Two additional cases of MenB have occurred in children who attend the school since the tragic death of six year old Oliver Hall in October 2017.
Public Health England (PHE) has been working with the school to investigate the situation and antibiotics and vaccinations are being offered as a precaution, to reduce the risk of any additional cases.
Claire Wright, Evidence & Policy Manager at MRF said, “Our thoughts are with the children and families affected. We are here for them if they need any support and we have offered our support to the school staff.
“Parents should be reassured that most cases of meningitis and septicaemia are isolated. It is unusual for there to be more than one case in the same school and the risk of meningococcal infection remains very low. Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by close contact with others such as coughing, sneezing, kissing etc. However, usually we have to be in very close or regular contact with someone for the bacteria to pass between us. Even when this happens, most of us will not become ill because we have natural immunity.
“We encourage all parents to take up the offer of the vaccines that are included in the routine immunisation schedule for children to prevent some types of meningitis and septicaemia. However, there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all forms of the disease so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.
Find out about MRF’s work calling for wider access to vaccines here.