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Ed Sheeran

Meningitis cases continue to rise

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Meningococcal disease is on the rise, with 120 cases and 10 deaths reported in 2018, compared with 112 cases and 9 deaths the previous year.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research says six of last year’s 10 deaths were due to the MenW strain, which prompted a targeted vaccination programme in Northland last month.

ESR public health physician Jill Sherwood says while Meningococcal B remains the dominant strain as it has since the large outbreak in the 1990s, cases of MenW have risen over the past three years from five in 2016, 12 in 2017, to 33 in 2018.

MenW is the dominant strain in Australia.

While the number of cases reported was highest among Pākehā, the rates were highest in the Māori and Pacific peoples’ ethnic groups.

Cases of Meningococcal B were reported for all age groups except in the 70 years and over, with the highest number of cases and the highest rates reported in those aged under five, and adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.








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