Meningitis: serious cases follow one another after the arrival of a new variant, big panic

Health authorities are beginning to worry about the situation in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. New meningococcal B variant has affected many young people between the ages of 16 and 21. After the death of a student, the ARS launches a vaccination campaign against meningitis.

Meningitis can be deadly

In recent months, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has recorded 26 cases of meningitis. Among them, twelve people are victims of a new variant of meningococcal B. The bacterium had notably infected young people aged 16 to 21 years. Among the victims, a young student from the Chambéry region died.

Health authorities have also confirmed two serious cases of meningococcal B. The regional health agency is keeping an eye on the progression of this new variant. According to the professor of infectiology of Grenoble, Jean-Paul Stahl, meningococcus B is not known to cause an epidemic.

Rather, forms A and C are often responsible for epidemics. The professor explained that meningococcus B caused 15% of deaths. And that in just a few hours.

“You have to take it very seriously,” he said in the columns of Le Parisien.

When the bacteria infects a person, the latter may have severe symptoms. It can be powerful headaches, stiffness and vomiting. The patient may have red or purplish spots on the body.

A disturbing specificity

The new variant detected in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has a more disturbing specificity. According to specialists, even babies under 2 years old can contract it. For infants, the symptoms of meningitis are not easy to detect. When the baby exhibits unusual behavior, parents should immediately contact a doctor.

He may cry incessantly and become irritated for no obvious reason. He may also be abnormally drowsy and appear a little “floppy” or downcast. If the baby has meningitis, he may start to lose his appetite and refuse to feed. Parents should also monitor the baby’s complexion if ever his complexion turns gray or mottled.

The ARS launched the vaccination campaign

According to the ARS, meningococcal B cases now concern nearly 205 municipalities from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Among those of the East of Lyon, one can quote Colombier-Saugnieu, Pusignan, Meyzieu, Jons and Jonage.

To control the spread of the disease, the health authorities of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes invite the inhabitants to be vaccinated. This vaccination campaign concerns nearly 56,000 people. Parents of children under two and young people aged 16 to 24 have received a letter. They can contact their doctor or pediatrician.

The ARS specifies that the vaccination includes a first injection and a booster after at least four weeks. Health insurance will take care of refund 65% vaccine costs. The mutual will reimburse the remaining 35%. Those who have questions about the vaccination campaign can contact the 0 800 100 378.

Evolutions of bacterial meningitis

Meningococcus B is a form of bacterial meningitis. The transmission of the bacterium is transmitted by saliva or by air. A sick person can transmit it to a healthy person by cough or sputum. It is therefore not prudent to remain in close and prolonged contact with a patient.

Indeed, after an infection of this bacterium, the hospitalization of the patient is essential. The patient should get treatment as soon as possible based on antibiotics. This is to avoid death or complication of the disease. Meningitis can leave serious sequelae on the patient.

If the infection becomes more complicated, abscesses may appear in the brain. This complication can arise if the treatment is late or if the germs are resistant to the drugs.

Hydrocephalus or increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure may also occur. When the pressure of this liquid that circulates around our brain increases, dilation of the cerebral cavities can arise. This is already considered a very serious complication.

If meningococcal bacteria infect a child, the child may end up having visual disturbances or becoming deaf. Even after years, the child may have attention problems and learning difficulties. Note that this type of case affects nearly 20% of people who have ever suffered from meningitis.

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