HSE director urges parents to vaccinate children

HSE director urges parents to vaccinate children

THE Director of Public Health in the HSE South has urged parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against meningitis.

Eleven cases of meningitis, including one in Cork/Kerry, were notified in Ireland between December 24, 2018, and January 6 of this year, compared with five cases in the same period last year.

The HSE revealed that, while three people have died as a result of meningitis, none of these deaths were caused by strain B or C, which is covered by the vaccines in the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme.

Among the eleven cases, various age groups were affected, different strains were detected and different regions of the country reported the cases. There were no links found between the cases.

“We are advising parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated, as per the State’s Universal Immunisation Programme,” said Dr John Cuddihy, Director of Public Health, HSE South. “It is important that parents ensure their child completes all five sessions of the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme.”

Public health specialist Dr Fiona Ryan warned of a further increase in meningitis in the coming weeks as Ireland experiences a spike in flu presentations. “Locally, we haven’t seen that increase yet but, at this time of year, we are expecting to see an increase in Cork and Kerry in the coming weeks or months,” she said. “We have seen an increase in flu in the community in recent weeks.”

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