Meningitis B Vaccine

Article published on 18th May 2008

Meningitis is often cited as one of the prime concerns parents have for their children's health - particularly in babies and young children. Its symptoms include a sudden fever, headache, rashes and stiffness in the neck can advance very quickly unless medical treatments if sought out. The infection, which can kill in a matter of hours from when the first symptoms manifest, causes an inflammation of the lining around the brain and can kill one in ten of sufferers.

But now, thanks to a team of British scientists based at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics based in Surrey, a vaccine against Meningitis B (the most common strain of the disease) may well be on the health market within three years. Although tests are still underway, a European medical conference has been told that preliminary trials of the vaccine have been successful and now more widespread tests being carried out.

The meningitis C vaccine has already brought about a dramatic reduction in cases of that strain but until the meningitis B vaccine has been perfected there is no guaranteed form of prevention.

As babies and infants are at greatest risk of the disease a vaccine would benefit thousands of families worldwide. However, even within meningitis B there are numerous strains of the disease. As yet the vaccine was found to have very good results against the three major types of meningitis B.

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