Meningitis at record low

New government figures suggest an end to meningitis could be in sight.
The number of children diagnosed with meningitis in the UK has reached an all-time low, according to the latest government statistics.

New figures from the Department of Health show that since immunisation programmes were introduced back in 1992, incidences of the disease have fallen by 99 per cent.

To coincide with World Meningitis Day, the director of immunisation, professor David Salisbury, has published a new report which highlights the success of childhood vaccines against the three main strains of meningitis.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced that cases of bacterial meningitis in children are currently at a record low, with vaccines preventing up to 900 people from developing the disease.

Commenting on the "really positive" report, Steve Dayman, chief executive of Meningitis UK, said: "The three vaccines have prevented hundreds of people being struck down by the disease, saving hundreds of lives and sparing survivors the devastating after-effects."

The "really encouraging" recent developments and advances being made towards finding a vaccine for meningitis B have given experts and parents renewed hope that one day the disease will be eradicated completely.

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