Meningitis is an infection that causes inflamation of the membranes and fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis (meningococcal) can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, coma or even death.
Information: The conjugate ACYW135 meningococcal vaccination will protect you against groups A, C, Y and W135 meningitis. This should be given 2-3 weeks before you travel. For Patients over 2 years a single dose is required. Patients under 2 years need to consult with a GP. Novartis have confirmed that their version of the vaccine offers protection for a minimum of 21 Months post vaccine.
If you are unsure which vaccines you require for an upcoming trip IGP provide a travel consultation with a trained practice Nurse to advise on the vaccine requirements for your upcoming travel. This consultation can be face to face in clinic or via video link. During this appointment the Nurse will conduct a detailed assessment and create a schedule of your required vaccinations.
On booking your travel consultation you will receive an email confirming your appointment details with a link to a 'Travel Risk Assessment Form' that we ask you to completed prior to your appointment.
Time: 15 minutes
Cost: £25 (Discounted from the total cost of any future vaccines adminstered)
Please note that vaccine cost is the cost per dose to have the vaccine with a nurse and not a GP. There is an additional fee of £25 for the vaccine to be administered by a GP. The number of doses required indicates the number of doses for a standard course. An accelerated course can impact the number of doses required. It is strongly advised that you leave plenty of time to complete the course before your trip. Some vaccination courses, with more than one vaccine required, may take up to a month or longer and many vaccinations will not become fully effective until weeks after the course completion. The brand of vaccine we supply may also vary depending on the current supply status of a particular vaccine.
The Meningitis ACWY vaccine will be available on the NHS and through the school's routine vaccine schedule from August/September 2015. The vaccine will still be available to those who want it privately outside of the vaccine schedule and catch up programme.
Meningitis can occur in epidemics, especially where large crowds are gathered, as it is acquired through direct contact or inhalation of bacteria in droplets coughed or sneezed into the air.
Sporadic cases of meningitis are found worldwide. In temperate zones, most cases occur in the winter months. Localized outbreaks occur in enclosed crowded spaces (e.g. dormitories, military barracks). In sub-Saharan Africa, in a zone stretching across the continent from Senegal to Ethiopia (known as the African meningitis belt), large outbreaks and epidemics take place during the dry season (November - June).
The risk to travellers is generally low. However, the risk is considerable if travellers are in crowded conditions or taking part in large population movements such as pilgrimages eg. the Haj to Mecca. Localized outbreaks occasionally occur among travellers (usually young adults) in camps or dormitories. Backpackers who use crowded hostels will be at greater risk during an outbreak.
There are two vaccines used to protect travellers. The meningitis A + C vaccine and the meningitis ACWY vaccine. The latter is required for pilgrims and seasonal workers visiting Saudi Arabia.Travelers should also try to avoid overcrowded places and close contact with the local population.
Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially serious bacterial infection if it's not treated quickly.
There are different strains of meningococcal bacteria that cause different meningococcal infections. Groups B and C are the most common in the UK, and vaccination against group C meningitis is now part of the childhood vaccination programme. Groups A, Y, and W135 are more common elsewhere in the world.
parts of Africa and Saudi Arabia. Visitors arriving in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, or to undertake seasonal work in the Hajj area, require proof of vaccination against groups A, C, Y and W135 meningitis.
Vaccination against groups A, C, Y and W135 meningitis is recommended if you are travelling to a high risk area and you will be:
Staying for longer than one month
Living with locals in rural areas
Attending the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages (religious journeys to Mecca, the centre of the Islamic world) in Saudi Arabia
Doing seasonal work in the Hajj area of Saudi Arabia
There are a number of vaccines that can prevent many cases of viral and bacterial meningitis. They include:
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination
The meningitis C vaccination
The DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccination, which provides protection against the Hib virus, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
Children should receive these vaccines as part of their childhood vaccination programme. Speak to your GP if you are not sure whether you or your child's vaccinations are up to date.