Meningococcal infection still causing tragic loss of life in children under five

28 Jul 2017
Meningococcal infection still causing tragic loss of life in children under five

Meningococcal infection (which causes meningitis and septicaemia) is still the leading infectious cause of death in children under the age of five in England and Wales, according to new data released by the Office of National Statistics.

The data shows that in 2015 there were 20 deaths from meningococcal infection in children under five.

Group B meningococcal disease (MenB) is the most common cause of meningococcal infection in the UK. The good news is that a MenB vaccine is routinely available for babies under the age of one, and ten months after it being introduced in September 2015, the vaccine had already resulted in a 50% reduction in cases amongst vaccine eligible age groups.

However, other age groups remain unprotected despite a public health petition signed by over 800,000 people calling for older children to be protected too.

"Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is funding research that could help unlock protection against MenB for the whole population",– said Sam Williams

As certain age groups remain unprotected from meningococcal disease, and not all types of meningitis are vaccine preventable, it’s important for everyone to be aware of the symptoms.

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning, and cause tragedy for too many families. For more information or support please call MRF’s free helpline on 080 8800 3344.

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