Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have done’
Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

HSE issues meningitis warning as three die from infection


by Jennifer McShane
09th Jan 2019
blank

The HSE has issued a warning about a dangerous infection causing meningitis and septicaemia after the deaths of three people across the country over the last two weeks.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the HSE is urging the public to be vigilant regarding meningococcal meningitis/septicaemia symptoms as eleven cases have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) since the last week in December.

Three patients diagnosed with meningococcal disease have tragically died directly due to infection, and the three deaths were directly due to this infection.

“Although meningococcal disease incidence generally increases in the winter months, the recent increase is cause for concern and the HSE wishes to alert the public to the signs and symptoms of this disease so that immediate medical attention can be sought if someone has symptoms that could be caused by this bug,” said Dr Suzanne Cotter, specialist in public health medicine at the HPSC.

“If anyone has any concerns about meningitis they should ring their GP in the first instance. Meningitis and septicaemia often happen together, and symptoms can appear in any order.”

Early symptoms can include; fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, stomach cramps, fever with cold hands and feet and a rash, but do not wait for the rash to appear. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.

What are the signs and symptoms to look out for?

Again, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever (sometimes with cold hands and feet)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rapid breathing
  • Severe Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Discomfort from bright light
  • Neck stiffness
  • Vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea
  • Non-blanching rash may appear which may be tiny red pinpricks that may develop to purple bruises. This rash does not fade under pressure.

The HSE advises that if anyone has any concerns or showing symptoms, they should contact their GP right away and ensure medical expertise is sought.

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is a serious illness involving inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by a variety of different germs, mainly bacterial and viruses. Bacterial meningitis is less common but is usually more serious than viral meningitis and requires urgent treatment with antibiotics and may be accompanied by septicaemia (blood poisoning).

The bacteria live naturally in the nose and throat of normal healthy persons without causing illness, and the spread of the bacteria is caused by droplets from the nose and mouth. The illness occurs most frequently in young children and adolescents, usually as isolated cases. Bacterial meningitis or septicaemia requires urgent antibiotic treatment.

Decline in uptake of child vaccinations

Parents are also advised to check that their children are up-to-date with their meningococcal vaccinations. There has been a drop in the uptake of these vaccines among children in recent years, according to the HSE.

A vaccine that protects against meningococcal C disease (MenC vaccine) is given at six months and 13 months, and meningococcal B vaccine (MenB vaccine) is given at 2, 4, and 12 months of age.

Also, adolescents are routinely offered the MenC vaccine in the first year of secondary school. Older teenagers and young adults up to the age of 23 years who never received a MenC vaccine are recommended to get the vaccine.

Other vaccines that protect against other forms of meningitis and septicaemia are included in the routine child vaccination programme (Hib vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine (PCV)).

Also Read

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

audiobooks
EDITORIAL
6 brilliant audiobooks worth listening to during lockdown

Six great audiobooks to listen to in lockdown. It took me ages to come around to the idea of audiobooks....

By Jennifer McShane

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Andrew McGinley: ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad.’

Following the utterly devastating trial of his wife Deirdre last week, Andrew McGinley spoke afterward of the love of his...

By Jennifer McShane

abgc_architects_aoife_herrity
EDITORIAL
A plain extension in Dublin 8 provides a blank canvas for a design-minded couple

ABGC Architects were enlisted to transform a large white box into a functional living space for two design-minded homeowners. When...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
I’ve been ugly and beautiful and the difference is depressing

When I was 12 I wrote a story about two girls who were best friends. One girl, the main character,...

By Sophie White

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane