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Several strains of meningococcal disease says MOH

August 21, 2019 6:28 am

The Ministry of Health is urging Fijians to remain vigilant about the symptoms of the meningococcal disease particularly with other strains of the deadly infection.

This comes after 12 people have now been killed by the disease since last year.

More recently this year the deaths included two children aged 16 and four.

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Head of Health Protection Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan from the Ministry of Health has clarified that the 2018 mass vaccination campaign targeted only one strain of the disease.

“Last year we had the meningococcal C outbreak and the meningococcal c vaccination campaign which targeted all 1 to 19 year olds. When we declared the outbreak over in December, last year. The Ministry of Health made it very clear that while that outbreak was over, we still expected cases.”

The Health Minister Dr. Iferemi Waqainabete says while the two children who died this year may have been covered under the vaccination campaign, immunization is not 100 percent full proof.

“Just because we have a vaccination program, immunization program as Dr. Aalisha has said doesn’t mean we are immune to it. All people are different, there are some that have a very strong immunity and they develop their immunity very quickly and very strong and some dont.”

The Ministry is urging all Fijians to take preventative measures against the deadly bacterial infection.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of meningococcal disease such as a fever, vomiting, a stiff neck and a red and or purple rash on their skin must immediately get medical attention.

Meanwhile there are 13 strains of meningococcus and five of these can be prevented by vaccines, A, B, C, W and Y.

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