Focus on a serious infection in adults and children: meningococcal meningitis

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Meningococcal meningitis is an infection that is considered rare, yet in 2019 doctors in our country recorded an average of more than one case per week and more than one death per week. Indeed, a study by the Institute of Public Health France and the Pasteur Institute found that 459 cases were diagnosed in 2019 in metropolitan France and overseas, and 55 people died.

An infection caused by meningococcal meningitis Bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, Also called meningococcus. Strains of serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y are responsible for 99% of diagnosed infections, divided into 12 serogroups nominated by the letter. In France, in 2019, more than one in two cases (53%) was caused by meningococcus B, but Public Health France noted that meningococcus W became more frequent between 2018 and 2019, increasing from 14% to 21%. An alarming trend since this hypervirulent sero group has the highest mortality rate and is responsible for 45% of deaths in 2019.

Invasive meningococcal disease, an unexpected and serious disease

The infection is unexpected. The Pollution Finished Through Long contact with Emission Respiratory infections. Neisseria meningitidis Can be found in the microbial flora of the throat, without signs of individual development. About 30% of 15-25 year olds are healthy carriers. Passage through bacteria Mucosa Breathing allows it to enter the bloodstream and reach the meninges. This spread of bacteria will cause various symptoms.

Difficult to diagnose, a meningococcal infection primarily causes non-specific symptoms that do not distinguish it from other illnesses: flu-like illness, fatigue, Pain, Etc. When the symptoms are clear, the infection is already installed. In adults, these infections result in photophobia, nausea, headache, and vomiting; And in children, by behavioral and communication disorders. Fever.

The acute phase develops rapidly, if nothing is done the condition of the patients may worsen within a few hours. Combined with all serogroups, invasive meningococcal disease is fatal in about 10% of cases. Up to 20% of survivors can suffer from it Secular Serious and incapacitated. Hearing loss, MutilationLearning disabilities are secular examples related to early infection.

Meninococcus and later? Flavio’s story

Flavio has been living with the consequences of his aggressive meningococcal infection since 2019. At the age of 17, he fell ill while studying at Clermont-Ferrand to become a professional footballer. The first symptoms are classic: fever, fatigue, body aches, feeling hot and cold. The first medical appointment does not diagnose the infection. The young man did not think of talking to the doctor about it Pain The right foot which he blames for his sporting practice. Just a few days after the first symptoms, his condition worsened. He can no longer keep his feet on the ground, rarely sleeps or eats, he is fascinated Light Strong and then, Lampless “, He said.

He spent three days in a coma. When he woke up, he had lost twenty kilograms of weight and could no longer get up. The doctors then announced to him that he had a contract Sepsis Meningococcal though is the most common form of meningitis infection Neisseria meningitidisBacteria can also contaminate the blood – sepsis – and other organs.

If his condition is stable, Flavio is not out of the forest. In fact, his right leg had to be amputated to completely eradicate the infection. This young man gave up his dream of becoming a professional footballer. In 2021, he had to undergo more than ten surgeries as a result of his infection. Still, his Prosthesis His desire to develop in the world of sports and football has not slowed down. Her story should be heard in its entirety and for those survivors or caregivers who have experienced meningitis in a series of podcasts. ” Unpredictable Sanofi from France.

Listen to Flavio’s story here!

This article was created in partnership with Sanofi


Public Health France and the Pasteur Institute: ” Invasive meningococcal infection in 2019

Cron M et al. Increased incidence of invasive meningococcal serotype W disease in Europe, 2013 to 2017. Euro Survey. 2019; 24 (14): 1-9. Meningitis

Sanofi Pasteur Europe SAS Capital € 58,200,000 – RCS Lyon B 821 177 425

FRAN000004272 MAT-FR-2202268 June 2022

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