1997 - Meningococcal disease in Spain
28 February 1997
Disease Outbreak Reported
The health authorities have reported that the incidence of meningococcal meningitis has increased slightly since 1994 compared with a steady decline observed since the early 1980s with a peak incidence rate of about 18 cases per 100,000 population. The number of cases reached 963 in 1995 corresponding to 2.45 per 100,000 population and 1,383 cases in 1997 corresponding to 3.52 per 100,000 population. Serogroup B meningococci has predominated in the past but recently the Microbiological Information System and the Reference Laboratory for Meningococci have observed predominantly serogroup C. This change in serogroup was the reason for the vaccination campaigns in Galicia, La Rioja and Cantabria. The Directorate of Public Health has increased the laboratory-based surveillance of meningococcal meningitis and recommends chemotherapy and immunization of contacts of serogroup C confirmed cases.
WHO comment: The situation described in the report by the Spanish health authorities does not imply a need for travellers to Spain to be immunized against meningococcal meningitis.