Current Affairs
Certain types of meningitis are more dangerous than others – Prof. Charmaine Gauci

A family is in great sorrow following the death of a four-year old boy at Mater Dei hospital where he was admitted for treatment with complications caused, most probably, due to a rare case of meningitis containing a particular bacteria. Health and Education authorities while saying that there is no cause for alarm, they took the necessary precautions for the protection of the health of children who were in the same class. At the same time, they reiterated the appeal for the vaccination of babies against meningitis.

TVM is informed that the four-year old boy’s death by one of the meningitis varieties may have been caused by an uncommon infection.

Risks that other persons being infected are very low. Statistics in our possession do not indicate any other cases of other persons developing the virus similar to such situations.

Public Health Superintendent, Professor Charmaine Gauci once more stressed that there is no need for alarm. She stated that Public Health Directorate officers have contacted the school, where the boy attends, and spoke to parents of children.

“In such a case of strep pneumonia e, we immediately saw that persons who were in close contact with the persons, were informed that if possibly there are some symptoms, that they are aware of the case”.

Prof. Gauci added that this type of meningitis is very rare, with only a case a year of deaths were reported in 2016 and 2017, while a few other cases were cured when treatment was immediately provided.

Charmaine Gauci stated “fortunately, in Malta we do not have many cases, we have less than 10 cases a year of bacterial meningitis.”

She said that there are various types of meningitis, with some are more dangerous than others. There are three vaccinations for children which are given by the Health Department and other vaccination for another type of meningitis provided in the private sector. “When we speak of bacterial meningitis on a national scale, we have that coverage for Hib, which is a type of bacterial meningitis which has been long given and we had a very good coverage”.

She said, “there is still no vaccination for strep pneumonia, which is on the schedule however we are aware of recommendations to the public to vaccinate children and had a good response in the private sector where a number of children are being vaccinated”

Prof. Gauci said that there are various bacteria that may cause meningitis, with the most common are caused by viruses and bacteria, which may be transmitted by coughing and sneezing.

See also:

Imut tifel ta’ 4 snin aktarx bil-meninġite

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