Meningitis epidemic: six cases, including one death detected by meningococci B, a rare strain… The ARS alert

The Grand-Est Regional Health Agency has reported invasive meningococcal infections in young adults in the Strasbourg sector.

Should we be concerned about the number of meningococcal B cases detected in Alsace in recent weeks?

The bacterium has been reported since mid-November and has infected a few people in Grand-Est, and the regional health board is urging vaccination.

Six cases detected and one death

Meningococci are bacteria that can cause very serious diseases such as meningitis or septicemia and are transmitted through the air or through saliva. They are usually present in the throat and nose of many people that ARS specifies.

Since 3 November 2022, 6 cases of invasive group B meningococcal disease were detected in the Strasbourg urban area: 5 people from the Strasbourg urban area and one person from Colmar. One of the infected isyou died

The latest is one Sixteen years olds, who lives in Bas-Rhin. He had to be hospitalized as specified by ARS.

A transmission in the disco

All the people who have been infected are young adults and must have been in contact with the bacteria in the evening in bars or nightclubs in the center of Strasbourg, including the Live Club establishment.

“The case with a residence in Colmar has indirect links to the Strasbourg urban area through several people around him”, clarify the health authorities.

A rare and unknown strain that continues to circulate

These 6 people were infected with the same strain of meningococcus B. A rare strain and previously unknown in Grand-Est.

This additional case shows that this strain of bacteria continues to circulate in Alsace.

Especially since a person can be infected and asymptomatic but can contaminate it. Therefore a transmission that is not easy to control.

What to do ?

ARS recommends monitoring for suggestive symptoms such as neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, fatigue, body aches, red or purple spots on the skin, cramps…

And especially reminds the public that frequents the nightlife places in the city center of Strasbourg and the professionals in these places that it is recommended to be vaccinated as soon as possible against meningococcal B to avoid the occurrence of serious forms. disease.

Vaccination includes a first injection and a booster at least one month later.

To answer questions about this vaccination campaign, a free number has been set up: 0 800 32 04 00 (free call, service open from 14:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday).

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