By Claire Gordon •
Published: 19 Jan 2022 • 19:33
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A fatal infectious disease has seen its cases exceed pre-pandemic levels, leading to warnings to look out for the early signs and symptoms. Cases of meningitis B are increasing after seeing a fall in the number of infectious diseases due to the lockdown measures introduced due to Covid-19.
Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening infection caused by bacteria that can go on to cause meningitis and sepsis. There are five main meningococcal strains that cause disease in the UK, with meningitis B the most common. The disease can be fatal, but can also lead to permanent disability and other serious health outcomes.
A report by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which also analysed recent data, showed that in “autumn 2021 there was an increase in the number of cases” in teenagers and young adults, mainly caused by “group B meningococcal disease”.
When in-person teaching resumed there was a large leap in the number of cases among university and school students. Between September and November 2021, 41.5% of meningitis cases were in those aged 15 to 19 – a figure that compares with 11.8% during the same period in 2018 and 14.3% in 2019. This increase follows on from the British Lung Foundation’s warning last week about lowered immunity leading to higher cases of children’s breathing illnesses also.
The UKHSA report added that a total of 26 invasive meningococcal disease cases were identified among those aged 15 to 24, with 84.6% in students in further or higher education.
Professor Ray Borrow, one of the paper’s lead authors and head of the vaccine evaluation unit at UKHSA, said to Sky News: “Students and parents need to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.
“If you’re concerned you have any of the symptoms seek immediate medical help as the earlier you get treatment the better.
“Students and young people can also help protect themselves against some types of meningococcal bacteria by ensuring that they’ve had their MenACWY vaccine.
“They can do this by checking with their GP and getting the vaccine as soon as possible if they’ve yet to be vaccinated.”
Commons signs and symptoms of the fatal infectious disease meningitis and accompanying septicaemia include fever with cold hands and feet, drowsy or difficulty to wake, confusion and irritability, severe muscle pain, pale blotchy skin, spots or rash, severe headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, and convulsions or seizures.
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Lockdowns lowered immunity and masks increase the possibility of lung infections. If anything has caused this it is nothing to do with covid and everything to do with the measures taken by the government. Thank god they are no longer making kids wear masks all day. It’s a crime.
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