Statement on meningococcal disease cases, Bishop of Llandaff, Church in Wales High School, Cardiff
Public Health Wales is working with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to offer antibiotics and vaccines to pupils in years 12 and 13 at Bishop of Llandaff, Church in Wales High School in Cardiff. It follows two students from the school becoming unwell with meningitis, caused by the group B meningococcal bacteria.
Close contacts of the students have been identified and have already been given antibiotics to stop the bacteria spreading. The decision to offer antibiotics to all pupils in years 12 and 13 is based on standard public health guidance for schools and no outbreak has been declared.
Dr Graham Brown, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Public Health Wales says; “Meningococcal bacteria are carried in the back of the throat of about one in ten people at any one time, but only very rarely cause illness. The bacteria do not spread easily. People who have had prolonged, close contact with the cases are at a slightly greater risk of getting ill. “
There is no reason for any change in the school routine or for children to be kept at home.
To ensure that cases are identified and treated promptly, it is important that parents and pupils to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease, which can include headache, fever, drowsiness, vomiting, neck stiffness and possibly a red rash that does not fade when pressed with a glass tumbler. It is important to seek medical advice quickly if you are concerned as the symptoms can worsen rapidly.
The cases are being managed appropriately in hospital. Public Health Wales will not release the name of patients and would ask that the privacy of the individuals concerned is respected.
A small number of pupils from Whitchurch High School and Radyr Comprehensive School who attend some lessons at Bishop of Llandaff will also be offered antibiotics and vaccines. The pupils and parents involved have all been informed.
More information on meningitis can be found on the Public Health Wales website at: Meningitis and meningococcal disease
Further information is available at: NHS 111 Wales meningitis
Advice over the phone can be obtained from the Meningitis Research Foundation, which has a 24-hour freephone helpline on 0808 800 3344, or from the Meningitis Now’s 24-hour freephone helpline on 0800 028 1828/ 0808 8010388.
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