90% increase in meningitis cases puts ES on alert

Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine. Credit: Disclosure/SESA

A progressive decline in vaccination charges has been accompanied by an increase in meningitis cases in Espirito Santo. From January to September this yr, 158 cases of the illness, with 41 deaths, had been recorded amongst viral, bacterial and fungal infections in the state.

This variety of cases is 90% greater than that recorded in all of 2021, when there have been 83 data of meningitis in the state. And the variety of deaths from the illness has greater than doubled in comparison with final yr, which noticed 19 deaths – a 115% increase then. In 2020, the meningitis report in Espirito Santo was additionally decrease than this yr. Then there have been 63 cases and 23 deaths.

Experts notice that this increase in meningitis deaths may be defined by the decline in meningitis vaccination charges recorded throughout the identical interval. In 2019, in line with the State Department of Health (Sesa), vaccination protection in Espirito Santo reached 90.46% of the audience. In subsequent years, on the top of the Covid-19 pandemic, the odds drop: 84.34% in 2020; and 78.63% in 2021.

Sesa explains that in order to match meningitis cases in a given territory, to point out an increase or lower in cases, a management chart is made that takes into consideration the accessible information from the final ten years.

Secretary of State for Health (SESA)

in a memo

“However, in this yr 2022, we’re seeing the next variety of reported cases, particularly bacterial meningitis, which have a scale of incidence and mortality.”


In order to increase vaccination protection towards the illness to 80%, a goal set by the Ministry of Health, Sesa granted in July this yr, briefly till September 30, the extension of vaccination towards meningococcal meningitis C to adolescents aged 13 to 19 years. years should not but immunized — normally the immunizing agent is obtainable in the National Vaccination Calendar for individuals as much as 12 years of age.

According to the folder, that is the primary age group chargeable for preserving the illness circulating. Healthcare employees, resulting from publicity, also needs to be vaccinated.


What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an irritation of the meninges, the membranes that encompass the mind and spinal twine.

What causes?

According to the Ministry of Health, the illness may be brought on by micro organism, viruses, fungi and parasites. Viral and bacterial meningitis are of best public well being significance given their scale of incidence and potential to trigger outbreaks. The folder additionally defined that though it’s normally brought on by microorganisms, meningitis may also happen from inflammatory processes, reminiscent of most cancers (metastasis to the meninges), lupus, response to sure medication, head trauma and mind surgical procedure.

How does the illness present itself in Brazil?

In Brazil, meningitis is taken into account an endemic illness. Cases of the illness are anticipated all year long, with remoted outbreaks and epidemics. Bacterial meningitis is extra widespread between autumn and winter, and viral meningitis in spring and summer time. Men are additionally most affected by the illness.

How is it transmitted?

In precept, transmission happens from individual to individual, via the respiratory tract, via droplets and secretions from the nostril and throat. Fecal-oral transmission additionally happens via ingestion of contaminated water and meals and make contact with with feces.

How is bacterial meningitis transmitted?

Usually, the micro organism that trigger bacterial meningitis are unfold from one individual to a different via the respiratory tract, droplets, and secretions from the nostril and throat. Other micro organism may be unfold via meals, reminiscent of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli. It is vital to know that some individuals can carry these micro organism with out being sick. These individuals are referred to as “carriers”. Most of those individuals don’t get sick, however they’ll nonetheless cross it on to different individuals.

How is viral meningitis transmitted?

Viral meningitis may be transmitted in other ways relying on the virus inflicting the illness. For enteroviruses, an infection is fecal-oral and viruses may be acquired via shut contact (touching or shaking palms) with an contaminated individual; touching objects or surfaces that include the virus after which touching your eyes, nostril, or mouth earlier than washing your palms, altering an contaminated individual’s diaper, ingesting water, or consuming uncooked meals that include the virus. Arboviruses are transmitted by the chew of contaminated mosquitoes.

How is fungal meningitis transmitted?

Fungal meningitis isn’t transmitted from individual to individual. The fungus is normally acquired by inhaling spores (small items of fungus) that enter the lungs and might attain the meninges. Some fungi are discovered in soils or environments contaminated with chicken or bat droppings. Another fungus referred to as Candida, which might additionally trigger meningitis, is usually contracted in hospital settings.

How is meningitis brought on by parasites transmitted?

The parasites that trigger meningitis should not handed from individual to individual and normally infect animals, not individuals. People change into contaminated by consuming contaminated merchandise or meals which have an infectious type or stage of the parasite.

What are the signs?

Meningitis brought on by viruses is normally milder and the signs resemble these of flu and colds. The illness primarily happens in youngsters who’ve excessive fever, headache, barely stiff neck, lack of urge for food, irritability. Bacterial ones are extra severe and the signs seem in a short while: excessive fever, malaise, vomiting, extreme headache and neck ache, issue inserting the chin on the chest and typically crimson spots on the physique. This is an indication that the an infection is quickly spreading in the blood and the danger of generalized an infection is tremendously elevated. In infants, the next may also be noticed: a tense or raised gentle spot; moans when touched; restlessness with shrill crying; stiffness of the physique with involuntary actions or “gentle” physique, relaxed.

What is the remedy?

Due to the severity of the scientific image, suspected cases of meningitis are at all times admitted to hospitals. Therefore, when a case is suspected, it’s essential to urgently search a hospital emergency room for medical analysis.

How is bacterial meningitis handled?

For the remedy of bacterial meningitis, antibiotic remedy is run in a hospital setting with chosen medication and therapeutic doses prescribed by the attending doctor. Supportive remedy, reminiscent of fluid substitute and cautious help, can be really useful.

What about viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis isn’t handled with antiviral medication in most cases. Generally, individuals are hospitalized and monitored for indicators of better severity and get well spontaneously. However, some viruses, reminiscent of herpes virus, may cause meningitis, which requires the usage of a selected antiviral agent. The appropriate plan of action is at all times decided by the medical workforce accompanying the case.

What in regards to the remedy of fungal meningitis?

In fungal meningitis, remedy is extra extended, with excessive and extended doses of antifungal medication chosen relying on the fungus recognized in the affected person’s physique. The response to remedy additionally relies upon on the individual’s immunity, and sufferers with a historical past of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, most cancers and different immunosuppressive illnesses are handled with excessive rigor and care by the medical workers.

How is parasitic meningitis handled?

For parasitic meningitis, each the medication towards the an infection and the medication to alleviate the signs are administered by a medical workforce to an inpatient. In these cases, signs reminiscent of headache and fever are very sturdy, so medicine to alleviate signs is as vital as remedy towards the parasite.

What is the very best prevention of the illness?

Meningitis is a syndrome that may be brought on by quite a lot of infectious brokers. For a few of them, there are major preventive measures, reminiscent of vaccines and chemoprophylaxis. Vaccines can be found to stop the primary causes of bacterial meningitis.

What vaccines are included in the kid vaccination schedule from the National Immunization Program?

Meningococcal C (conjugate) vaccine protects towards meningococcal illness brought on by serogroup C. Another vaccine is the 10-valent pneumococcal (conjugate) vaccine, which protects towards invasive illness brought on by Streptococcus pneumoniae, together with meningitis. There can be pentavalent, which protects towards invasive illnesses brought on by Haemophilus influenzae serotype B, reminiscent of meningitis, and likewise towards diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis B.

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