Sum : a collégienne of 13 years died of a fulminant form of meningitis

Health 7 January, 2018


Published the 06.01.2018 at 19: 00


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In just a few hours, a young collégienne of 13 years died of meningitis and fulminant. Antibiotics were prescribed to takes preventive to his surroundings and to people who have had a close contact and repeated with the victim. The type of meningitis has not yet been identified, but owing to the devastating character of the infection of the meninges, it is very probably a fulminant form of meningitis acute meningococcal C.

Meningitis is not a rare disease

Meningitis is an inflammation of the envelopes of the brain, the meninges. It is not severe when it is caused by a virus, but becomes so if it is a bacterium and life-threatening if not treated quickly.
There are about 8000 cases of meningitis per year in France (adults and children), of whom nearly 2000 are severe forms. Each year, some 500 to 800 people are affected by meningococcal meningitis, the most severe form. Most are infants or young children. One in ten dies and 6% of those who survive retain significant sequelae. Meningococcal C is unusually virulent for the past ten years, according to experts.

Meningococcal meningitis

In the adult, meningitis is most often by a combination of signs that the so-called “meningeal syndrome” with violent headache (” headache “), stiff neck, high fever, intolerance to light (” photophobia “), and nausea or vomiting.
May also appear drowsiness, mental confusion, or disturbances of consciousness, and neurological signs localized (paralysis of the eye) and seizures.

A fulminant form

The form that has led to the death is probably a fulminant form of meningitis acute meningococcal. Some meningitis, meningococcal can result very quickly with signs of generalized infection (” meningococcemia acute “) with sepsis. This is the case when there is a “purpura fulminans” of the most severe and of very rapid evolution, with lesions bleeding of the skin.
In the event of an outbreak anywhere on the skin of haemorrhagic spots (stains stellate bright red), or blue (or ” bruising “), not disappearing on pressure of the finger, it may be a purpura, who must call the emergency services in extreme emergency.

A contamination in the community

The meningococcus is a germ is very fragile and does not survive in the environment, but is transmitted by saliva.
Most of meningitis are acquired in the conditions of life in common, without a link with a hospital stay or a medical procedure.
The fact that we live in a community that is closed, and especially the fact of being in contact with a person infected with meningitis, are factors favoring the occurrence of the disease.

At A time when many parents are lost due to the mandatory nature of the vaccination, it should be understood that coverage of immunization for this virus is 71 % in France, which is not enough to prevent these tragedies. In the netherlands, vaccine coverage against meningococcal C has reached 94 %, and the disease has now disappeared.