What is menin­gi­tis?

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

his left hand, Julie, 43, says: “It’s dis­gust­ing the vac­cine isn’t given to all chil­dren. Menin­gi­tis changed our lives com­pletely. The day Tommy got menin­gi­tis it killed me. I had never seen any­thing like it.”

It’s not only MenB vac­cines these par­ents want given to all chil­dren – there is clear ev­i­dence the C strain in­oc­u­la­tion

Menin­gi­tis is the in­flam­ma­tion of the mem­branes that sur­round and pro­tect the brain and spinal cord. Some bac­te­ria that cause menin­gi­tis can also cause sep­ti­caemia (blood poi­son­ing).

10 per cent of bac­te­rial cases of menin­gi­tis re­sult in death.

One in three of those who sur­vive bac­te­rial menin­gi­tis are left with af­ter­ef­fects such as brain dam­age, hear­ing and sight loss, and where sep­ti­caemia has oc­curred, loss of limbs and scar­ring.

Bac­te­rial menin­gi­tis kills more UK chil­dren un­der the age of five than any other in­fec­tious dis­ease.

Vi­ral menin­gi­tis is usu­ally less se­ri­ous than the bac­te­rial sort, but it can still leave peo­ple with long-last­ing after-ef­fects such as headaches, fa­tigue and mem­ory prob­lems.

For more de­tails visit menin­gi­tis­

for 12-week-old ba­bies needs to be brought back.

The NHS stopped it in 2016, claim­ing the dis­ease had been erad­i­cated. But new fig­ures from Pub­lic Health Eng­land on Fri­day show the num­ber of MenC cases in chil­dren un­der one has shot up from just one in 2015/16 to 15 in 2017/18. Mark Hunt, of the

char­ity Menin­gi­tis Now, said: “The MenC level of in­crease is deeply con­cern­ing.”

Vikki Mitchell and Paul Gott saw ninemonth-old daugh­ter Kia lose all four limbs when she con­tracted MenC in Septem­ber last year – three months be­fore she would have got the NHS Hib/ MenC jab. Now nearly two, Kia has 90 per cent brain dam­age, is reg­is­tered blind and suf­fers from epilepsy – one of the worst MenC cases in 25 years. Vikki, 31, of Brad­ford said: “We’ve looked at the sta­tis­tics. Since they stopped the vac­cine for new­borns, there’s been an in­crease. It is dev­as­tat­ing fam­i­lies’ lives.”

Mean­while, Kirsty says she will go pri­vate to give her youngest, seven-weekold son En­ver-Jax, the MenC jab after what hap­pened to Layla-Rose.

Char­ity Menin­gi­tis Now chief Dr Tom Nutt told us: “We are very con­scious the Men B vac­cine is not be­ing of­fered to all at-risk groups.

Dr Mary Ram­say, deputy direc­tor for im­mu­ni­sa­tion at Pub­lic Health Eng­land, said: “We have one of the most com­pre­hen­sive meningo­coc­cal im­mu­ni­sa­tion programmes in the world.

“In the UK, meningo­coc­cal dis­ease is now very rare across all age groups.”


Layla-Rose in hos­pi­tal just four hours be­fore she died of menin­gi­tis B Faye’s life sup­port was turned off after bat­tle Baby Kia lost all four limbs through MenC

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