Public Health investigating after young adult dies of 'meningococcal disease' in Limerick

Public Health Mid-West was notified of the case in late September, saying "the risk to the wider community is considered low".
Public Health investigating after young adult dies of 'meningococcal disease' in Limerick

Meningitis is a serious illness involving inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and can be caused by a variety of different germs, mainly bacteria and viruses.

A confirmed case of meningococcal disease in Limerick, resulting in the death of a young adult, is being is being investigated by the Department of Public Health Mid-West (PHMW).

In a statement released this afternoon, PHMW said it was notified of the case in late September, and it concerns "a young adult who subsequently sadly died".

Close contacts identified by the organisation have been contacted and offered treatment in accordance with national guidance, it was added.

However, it was stated that person-to-person spread of meningococcal disease "is very unusual", especially with those who are not household or physically close personal contacts.

The Department explained that meningitis is a serious illness involving inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and can be caused by a variety of different germs, mainly bacteria and viruses. 

While bacterial meningitis is less common, it is usually more serious than viral meningitis and requires urgent treatment with antibiotics.

"Bacterial meningitis may be accompanied by septicaemia (blood poisoning)," Public Health Mid-West explained, and both require urgent antibiotic treatment.

"The bacteria live naturally in the nose and throat of normal healthy persons without causing illness."

The bacteria is spread by droplets from the nose and mouth, and the illness occurs most frequently in young children and adolescents, usually as isolated cases.

"While the risk to the wider community is considered low, we do want the general public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this disease," it was advised.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Severe Headaches 
  • Fever 
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Discomfort from bright light
  • Neck stiffness
  • Rash 

"We advise that if anyone has concerns, they should contact their GP immediately and ensure that medical expertise is sought," PHMW stated.

"We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased."

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub


Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub


logo podcast

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

IE logo

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.23 s