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Meningococcal Disease in Netherlands

01 Jun 2018

Media reportsat least 57 people have been admitted to intensive care and 11 people have died after becoming infected with meningococcal meningitis (MenW) so far this year (2018).  The figures come from the national public health institute RIVM and show that the number of deaths is now equal to 2017 as a whole. Prior to 2015 there were an average of four infections a year and no deaths.

Advice for Travellers

Meningococcal infections are spread through airborne droplets and direct contact with nasal/pharyngeal secretions of infected individuals or carriers. 

Respiratory infections are often difficult to prevent but following basic personal hygiene etiquette when coughing and sneezing can help. Avoiding overcrowded areas such as busy markets and local transport may also reduce risk of exposure but may not always be practical.

Vaccines to protect against multiple strains of meningococcal meningitis for travellers are available: Menveo and Nimenrix. Individuals should consider being vaccinated if they are travelling to a country where meningococcal meningitis is present and where their stay maybe prolonged or they are involved in activities which may increase the risk of exposure to the disease, for example, working in a healthcare setting and living closely with the local population.