Meningitis cases at all time low

The number of children hit by bacterial meningitis has reached record lows

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New government figures have suggested that the number of children suffering from the most common type of meningitis has fallen dramatically.

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According to the data, 2008 saw just 12 Hib meningitis cases among the under-fives which represents a fall of 99%, from around 800 cases annually.

The impressive figures are believed to be due, in part, to a nationwide immunisation drive.

Speaking about the results, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: “In just over 15 years, thanks to the NHS immunisation programme, cases of meningitis are at a record low.

“This is thanks to decades of research by scientists and dedication of NHS staff, and with the support of parents.”

Data also shows that Meningitis C cases have dropped from around 700 each year to less than one on an annual basis thanks to a jab that was introduced in 1999.

Last Saturday (April 25th) marked the very first World Meningitis Day, which aims to raise awareness of the disease.

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It believed there are more than 6,000 cases of viral meningitis in the UK every year and though it is rarely life-threatening, it can leave people with debilitating after-effects.

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