Meningitis Vaccinations Begin for Chilean Children

Source: Santiago Times

By: Hogan, Gwynne


Chile has launched a meningitis vaccination campaign in the capital city of Santiago. The new vaccine targets a particularly viral meningitis strain, W-135, and the effort is targeting 290,000 children. The campaign comes in response to a recent report from the Health Ministry that shows a significant increase in meningitis cases since 2010. The study reveals that 93 cases have been confirmed through the first 10 months of 2012, with 21 deaths, up from 73 cases and 11 deaths for all of 2011. The W-135 strain has accounted for 42 percent of documented cases and seven deaths this year. “Sixty percent of cases are among children less than four years old,” notes Public Health Undersecretary Jorge Diaz. “We want to avoid an increase in this strain of meningitis, which has happened in our neighboring countries.”

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