The strain has similarities to meningococcal B (MenB), the UK’s most common form of bacterial meningitis, and can kill or maim in hours.
Importantly, there is also evidence that the UK’s first vaccine against Men B, promised for the NHS but held up as the Department of Health and the drug’s manufacturer negotiate price, could be effective against this particular strain of MenW.
In light of the increase in cases of MenW and while there are still not vaccines against all forms of bacterial meningitis, Meningitis Now stresses the importance for everyone to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis and to act fast if they have any concerns. As part of its ongoing battle to get the MenB vaccine introduced, Meningitis Now are encouraging people to get behind its Beat it Now! campaign to sign its emergency petition calling upon David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt to push the vaccine negotiations through before the general election and let the process of saving our children from meningitis begin.