Meningitis outbreak detected at Canary Islands school

Meningitis outbreak detected at Canary Islands school

The Health authorities in the Canary Islands have issued an urgent call for vaccination following the detection of a meningitis outbreak at a local school in Fuerteventura. Approximately 700 people, including pupils, teachers, and staff at CEIP Cristóbal García Blairzy in Gran Tarajal, are advised to receive the meningococcal B vaccine this weekend.

Vaccination will take place today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) at the Paediatric consultations of the Gran Tarajal Health Center. No appointment is necessary for receiving the vaccine.

The Directorate General of the Public Health Service (SCS) explained the importance of this measure to protect both individual and general public health, emphasising that vaccines are the most effective method to prevent meningitis transmission. Authorities assure that the vaccines are safe and carry no risk to recipients.

Outbreak Details:

The protocol was activated following the diagnosis of two meningitis cases caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B in students from CEIP Cristóbal García Blairzy. Both patients are recovering well.

Molecular analysis confirmed that the cases were linked, prompting the activation of the outbreak protocol, which includes preventive vaccination with the specific meningococcal B vaccine to prevent further cases.

The SCS has issued an informational note to the school and the pupils' families and has organised two additional informational sessions for anyone seeking further details from health professionals in Fuerteventura.

Disease Severity:

The Ministry of Health warn that meningitis can result in severe symptoms and has a mortality rate of 10%. The vaccine schedule in the Canary Islands includes the meningococcal B vaccine. Even if an individual has been previously vaccinated, a booster dose is recommended if more than a year has passed since the last inoculation. For those who have never been vaccinated, two doses will be required, spaced at least one month apart.