Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is speaking with health experts and officials in Ireland following cases of a particularly deadly type of meningitis and septicaemia (MenW).
The strain of MenW circulating in Ireland is the same strain that has been spreading in much of Europe. It is particularly deadly and can be very hard to recognise at first because patients can have obvious gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, often without the characteristic non-blanching rash.
The number of people in Ireland contracting MenW has risen in recent years, with 12 cases reported in 2018, more than triple the number of cases in 2014.
Some countries, including the UK and Netherlands, have introduced the MenACWY vaccine into their routine vaccination schedules to prevent a rise in cases of MenW despite the number of cases being relatively low, because this strain of MenW is very deadly.