It’s been reported that a 19 year old, Lewis Hilton from West Yorkshire, has tragically died from meningococcal B meningitis or septicaemia (MenB).
The thoughts of everyone at Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Babies and young children under five are the age groups at highest risk of meningitis and septicaemia, but teenagers are the next most at risk.
Introducing the MenB vaccine into the UK immunisation schedule for babies in 2015 was a major step forward. However, only about one quarter of all cases occur in the under ones, leaving older age groups unprotected from MenB.
In the UK, teenagers are more likely to ‘carry’ the meningococcal bacteria in the back of their nose and throat than any other age group and they can unknowingly spread it to others. MRF is supporting a new national study that will evaluate whether vaccinating teenagers against MenB could prevent them ‘carrying’ and spreading the infection to others, thus potentially protecting the whole population.
The lessons learned from this research will help to show whether an adolescent MenB vaccination should be introduced into the national immunisation programme.
MRF has a free helpline and support service for anyone affected or with questions about meningitis or septicaemia, 080 8800 3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.