Deadly meningitis strain appears to be under control


A deadly strain of meningitis appears to have declined since the Netherlands introduced a vaccination campaign, reports the AD.

The newspaper reports that five people died after being infected with a particularly dangerous form of meningococcal bacteria in the first half of this year, compared with 23 deaths last year.

Public health agency the RIVM said it was ‘overjoyed’ at the decline, saying there were fewer cases of meningococcal disease than it had predicted.

The disease is reportedly fatal for a quarter of people who become seriously ill, and the bacteria spread quickly, poison the blood and affect the brain. More than 100 people contracted the strain last year, compared with fewer than 40 this year.

Since last autumn half a million teenagers between 14 and 18 have been vaccinated, 83% of the target group, and the RIVM said no-one who was vaccinated has so far contracted the disease.

Earlier this year there were concerns that not enough teenagers were turning up for the vaccine.

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