The number of meningitis cases is exploding in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. A new variant of meningococcal B has been detected, it could target more young people aged 16 to 21. One fatal case and several serious cases have been identified in recent months. Point position.
The situation is beginning to worry the health authorities. In a press release dated August 11, the ARS warns of the resurgence of cases of meningitis among young people in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. An exceptional vaccination campaign has just been launched.
In recent months, 12 cases of meningococcal B linked to a new variant have been detected in the region. The victims of this bacterium were aged 16 to 21 and were in the region of Chambéry (Savoie) or in “East Lyon”. Two serious cases and one fatal were observed after these infections. Since then, the ARS has been monitoring the progression of the bacteria.
“Form B of meningococcus is not known to be responsible for epidemics, like A or C (…) But it kills! It causes about 15% of deaths, sometimes in a few hours. It must be taken very seriously”, analyzes Jean-Paul Stahl professor of infectiology in Grenoble, quoted by The Parisian. This new variant also has a specificity: babies under 2 years old can contract meningococcus B.
The symptoms caused by the infection are known. Meningococcus B can cause severe headaches, vomiting, stiffness or even red or purplish spots on the body.
In an attempt to stem the phenomenon, a massive vaccination campaign was launched in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. 56,000 people at risk around the places concerned are invited to be vaccinated. A letter was sent specifically to parents of children under two and young people aged 16 to 24. “The vaccination includes a first injection and a booster with a period of at least one month between the two injections”, specifies the ARS. As part of this operation, the vaccine is reimbursed at 65% by health insurance and 35% by mutual insurance.
As a reminder, theTransmission is by air or saliva, “notably by coughing or sputtering.” “Transmission takes place through direct, close and prolonged contact with a sick person or a healthy carrier,” explains the health authorities. To answer the questions and fears of the public, a green number has been set up. Namely, the 0 800 100 378.