Three people dead after 11 cases of meningitis and septicaemia reported at end of 2018

Three people diagnosed with meningococcal disease have died.

The HSE has said that there have been 11 cases reported since week 52 of 2018.

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is reminding people in Ireland to be alert to the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia after the Health Service Executive (HSE) reported an increase in meningococcal disease in recent weeks.

Meningococcal disease is the leading cause of meningitis in Ireland.

This compares to five cases for the same time period last year. In 2018, a total of 89 meningococcal cases were reported compared to 76 in 2017.

The recent cases are said to have occurred in Dublin and other regions of the country, and affected all age groups, ranging from infants to elderly.

The disease and deaths have not been caused by a single strain of meningococcal bacteria, but have been caused by multiple strains.

Diane McConnell, Regional Director at MRF said: “We are saddened to learn that a number of people have been affected by meningitis and septicaemia in recent weeks.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to these individuals and their family and friends.

“MRF has been supporting people for the past 29 years and anyone with questions or concerns can call the free MRF helpline on 1800 41 33 44 (Ireland) or 080 8800 3344 (UK) or email helpline@meningitis.org or visit meningitis.org. We’re here to help anyone affected.

Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by close contact with others such as coughing, sneezing, kissing etc, but usually we have to be in very close or regular contact with someone for the bacteria to pass between us.

“We encourage everyone to take up the offer of all the vaccines that are included in routine immunisation schedule to protect themselves and their families. No single vaccine protects against all strains of meningococcal disease and vaccines against some forms of the disease are not routinely available so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.”

The helpline hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.


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