Alarming increase in meningitis deaths in Netherlands

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The Netherlands is heading for a record number of infections with the meningococcal  bacterium type W, also known as meningitis. So far this year 57 people ended up in intensive care and 11 people died because of this bacterium, according to figures AD received from the national institute for public health RIVM. 

The number of meningitis deaths so far this year is already equal to the total of 2017. To make matters worse, there is a shortage of vaccines, according to the newspaper. Last year the government decided that babies aged 14 months and primary school pupils need to be vaccinated against this dangerous variant of meningitis. But due to the vaccine shortage, 14-year-olds now have to wait until October for their vaccine.

According to AD, this variant of meningitis is rapidly advancing. No one died of meningococcal bacterium type W before 2015 and only about four people were infected each year. In the first four months of last year 27 people had to be hospitalized. In the same period of this year, 50 people ended up in hospital due to this bacterium. 

The first signs of a meningitis infection are cold- and flu-like symptoms. After that things rapidly get worse. A clear sign of meningitis is a stiff neck. A person can die within 24 hours of being infected. 

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