Meningitis warning in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 09:24 12 February 2016
Hertfordshire County Council is urging young people who are offered a meningitis vaccination to take it up so that they are protected against the disease.
Hertfordshire has a new vaccination programme in place that protects against meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y. It is being delivered in all secondary schools and replaces the previous Meningitis C vaccination programme.
Parents and young people in Year 9 and/or Year 10 (depending on local arrangements) will receive invitations during the next few months and parents are encouraged to make sure their children take up the vaccine if it is offered.
Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) are very serious diseases caused by meningococcal bacteria. Both diseases can be fatal, but they are easily prevented.
A council spokesman said: “The meningococcal infection spreads through close persistent contact with people who unknowingly carry the bacteria, and so it is vitally important that young people who are offered the vaccine take it up. We particularly want to ensure that university students have the vaccination as they are often in close contact with many other students. If this applies to you, check with your GP to see if you are eligible.”
Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Figures show that cases of meningococcal disease peak each year during winter.
“Meningitis can be deadly and can cause long-term complications, so these vaccinations are very important. The vaccination is safe and effective with minimal side-effects, so I would urge everyone who is offered the vaccination to take up the offer.”
For more information on symptoms visit www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Meningitis
For further information about other health initiatives in Hertfordshire, please visit www.hertsdirect.org/healthinherts