HSE moves to reassure parents following suspected meningitis outbreak in North East
The HSE are reassuring parents in the North East that the situation is under control, following the hospitalisation of two children in Navan last week due to what is a suspected outbreak of meningitis.
One of the children, a six year old girl has since died, while the other, a 12 year old girl remains seriously ill in hospital.
According to Dr Paul Kavanagh, Director of Public Health Medicine for the HSE in the North East, the organisation has been linking with the medical team to ensure there is public health control measures in place for the family and other close contacts.
Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has offered some guidance for parents around meningitis and what to look out for.
Monika Marchlewicz, Ireland MRF manager has shared the following advice:
Meningitis according to Monika Marchlewicz is “the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It shares many of the symptoms of other, more common, everyday illnesses such as the flu or even a hangover.
“Because meningitis develops so quickly it can be a particularly devastating disease for those affected.”
However, Monika says that parents should be reassured because “most cases of meningitis and septicaemia are isolated.”
“The bacteria that can cause the disease cannot live longer than a few moments outside the human body, so they are not carried on things like clothes or toys.
“People usually need to be in close or prolonged contact for the bacteria to pass between them. Even when this happens, most people do not become ill because they have natural immunity”, the MRF Ireland manager concluded.
For further information on meningitis, go to www.meningitis.org or call the free helpline 1800 41 33 44.