Third case of meningitis detected in Kuwait
‘Only those in contact with patients must receive vaccine’
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 9, (KUNA): The Ministry of Health on Monday urged directors at all health zones to ensure that people who are in direct and constant contact with patients known or suspected to have meningitis get vaccinated, including staff of health facilities, as well as all children aged two and older.
Health Undersecretary Ibrahim Al-Abdelhadi urged, in press remarks today, that this be ensured to maintain public safety and peace of mind, especially after recent increase in number of patients and some reports and rumors that caused some panic.
He said directors of health zones must verify availability of vaccines at preventive care centers, pointing out that those in contact with all cases, even those of confirmed meningitis, are no longer at threat 24 hours after taking the suitable antibiotics.
The type of meningitis recently detected, he said, can only be transmitted through droplets of respiratory secretions during close contact such as kissing, sneezing, or coughing on someone, but cannot be spread by only breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.
This means the usual concern is crowded living quarters, and that there is no need for vaccination for anyone without prolonged close interaction with a suspected or confirmed patient, the official reiterated.
The Ministry of Health has announced that a third meningitis case which was detected in Kuwait is in good health and that the patient has been transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The Ministry has reiterated that there is no outbreak of meningitis in Kuwait and at present there is no need for vaccination to be given to the public. The Ministry has also reiterated that only those people who came in contact with meningitis victims will be vaccinated.
The Ministry also said meningitis does not become contagious 24 hours after a patient is vaccinated.
Meanwhile it has been reported emergency teams should be formed to curb any meningitis outbreak in the country, said a local Arabic daily.
The daily quoting the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education Tamaridh Al-Sadirawi stated the Ministry has informed the Ministry of Health, of the importance of vaccination against meningitis to be given to the schools students.
This is after the Ministry of Health issued a statement urging the education sector that preventive vaccination is not important.
She added the Ministry of Health should respond to cases that might occur effectively, especially if the victim works in the education sector.
In other news, Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar who is contesting the National Assembly elections from the second constituency candidate has asked the Ministry of Health to present its strategy to fight meningitis if it were to become an epidemic in the country.
She added news reports about meningitis is being handled by various media agencies, and in the sense of not having clear information from the concerned ministry about it, it creates fear and worry in the country.http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDeta ... fault.aspx