After twelve cases, including one death, of invasive meningococcal B infection with a new variant identified for almost a year, the ARS of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes called on 56,000 young people to be vaccinated. Letters have been sent to people at risk, in particular young people aged 16 to 24 and parents of children aged 0 to 2.
After twelve cases, including one death, of invasive meningococcal B infection with a new variant identified for almost a year, the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has called on 56,000 young people to be vaccinate, the establishment told AFP on Friday. “Meningitis is a serious disease, which can cause permanent sequelae and even death”, explained to AFP Dr Anne-Sophie Ronnaux-Baron, head of the regional health monitoring center at ARS Auvergne-Rhône- Alps.
Letters sent to the persons concerned
“We therefore sent 56,000 letters to policyholders aged 16 to 24 – the population most frequently affected by the variant – and to the parents of babies aged 0-2, as part of a massive vaccination campaign”, declared Doctor Ronnaux-Baron, confirming information from local media. At the end of July, two infected people were identified, bringing to twelve the number of cases detected in four departments: Savoie (Chambéry and its surroundings), Ain, Rhône and Isère.
Despite the death of a young person among these cases, “to date, we have no particular indication that this variant would be more dangerous or more contaminating,” said the doctor. The meningococcal B bacterium is transmitted by prolonged contact with a healthy carrier of the germ. It is transmitted by coughing and sputtering. The infection causes fever, headache with vomiting, stiff neck, and red or purplish spots (purpura) may appear. Meningitis vaccination has been included in the 2022 vaccination calendar since April and the number of deaths linked to meningococcal infection out of the number of overall meningitis cases is around 10%, according to the ARS.