Baby infected with deadliest meningitis intubated since August, country has no vaccine –

“If you perform throat cultures on 100 children, 50 of them will be able to live peacefully,” the doctor said.

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Source: ANF

An infant infected with the deadliest form of meningococcal meningitis has been intubated at a Santa Cruz hospital since August. Experts assure that there is no preventive vaccine against this type of meningitis in the country.

“The child was a boy who had a cough and meningitis due to a meningococcal infection. I had co-infections. The case was reported in August and the little boy is still in intensive care and he is suffering from irreversible lesions, with the intubator attached,” said Carlos Hurtado, epidemiology manager of the Santa Cruz Provincial Center of Health Services (Headquarters).

The little boy entered Children’s Hospital when he was five months old and is now eight years old.

He added that this was not the only case of meningococcal meningitis recorded by the department, as another case was also reported in Palma Sola prison and “the patient died”.

As it became clear that this was an invasive form of meningitis, preventative treatment was administered throughout the prison. “The prison has been sealed and more than 700 inmates have been treated,” Hurtado said.

Meningitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the meninges covering the central nervous system. Pathology can occur in many ways: bacterial, viral or even fungal.

Experts explain that meningococcal meningitis is caused by bacteria and spreads through direct contact with nasal or pharyngeal secretions; it is highly contagious and has a high mortality rate, which is why it requires immediate notification and may represent national and international importance Sexual public health issues.

Héctor Mejía, an epidemiologist at the Ovidio Arriaga Children’s Hospital, said that this type of meningitis “does not have a vaccine in the country under the Expanded Program on Immunization (PAI)”, although he insisted that “there is definitely a vaccine” abroad.

Hurtado assured that the disease is taken seriously because “it is highly transmissible, has a high mortality rate and outbreaks can be recorded.”

It was learned yesterday that two children at a private school in La Paz have tested positive for meningitis. As per regulations, educational units must be closed for disinfection. Currently, the little ones are recovering.

Health Minister María Renée Castro reported that analysis of samples from children determined that the disease was caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, “a bacterium that is known to normally cause pneumonia but now It can also be prevented by this bacterium”. vaccine. “

Mejía noted in this case that pneumococcus is a bacterium that “lives peacefully” and lives in the throats of children under five; that is, it can remain without causing anything.

The epidemiologist said after confirming that the cases usually occur in children under two years old or in people with certain immune deficiencies: “A common cold can be bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing meningitis, but this is a random phenomenon. .”

“If you perform throat cultures on 100 children, 50 of them will be able to live peacefully,” the doctor said.

Unlike meningococcal meningitis, the pneumococcal preventive vaccine has been used since 2014 and is given at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months of age.

This is why it is important for parents to adhere to their children’s vaccination schedule, the professional stressed. “The two cases reported in La Paz are preventable, but it is possible that the young children were not infected.”

Mejia said Children’s Hospital reports two to three cases of this type of meningitis each year.


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