Meningococcal meningitis is a serious infection that affects adults and children

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The meningococcal meningitis It is an infection that is seen as rare, but in 2019 doctors recorded more than one case per day and more than one death per week on average in our country. In fact, a study by Public Health France and the Pasteur Institute reports that 459 cases and 55 deaths were diagnosed during 2019 in the French capital and in the overseas territories.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection caused by bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, also called meningococci. Classified into 12 serogroups identified by letters, strains of serogroups A, B, C, W and Y are responsible for 99% of diagnosed infections. En France, en 2019, plus d’un cas sur deux (53%) est provoqué par le méningocoque B, mais Santé publique France a noté que le méningocoque W est devenu plus fréquent entre 2018 et 2019, passant de 14% à 21% cases. There is a worrying trend because this hypertrophic serogroup has the highest case fatality rate and accounted for 45% of deaths in 2019.

Invasive meningococcal disease, a severe and unpredictable disease

Infection is unpredictable. The radioactive contamination It was completed Across Prolonged contact with infectious respiratory secretions. Neisseria meningitidis It can be found in the microbial flora of the throat, without the person developing symptoms. Approximately 30% of people between the ages of 15 and 25 are healthy carriers. The passage of bacteria through Mucosa Breathing allows it to join the blood and reach the meninges. This spread of bacteria will cause various symptoms.

It is difficult to diagnose meningococcal infection at first, it causes non-specific symptoms that do not allow it to be distinguished from other diseases: influenza-like illness, fatigue, aches, etc. When symptoms become more pronounced, the infection is already established. In adults, this infection leads to photophobia, irritability, headache and vomiting. In children: behavioral disturbances and fever.

The acute stage develops rapidly, and the condition of patients can deteriorate within a few hours if nothing is done. All serogroups combined, invasive meningococcal disease is fatal in about 10% of cases. Up to 20% of survivors may suffer from supplement serious and crippling. hearing loss, AmputationLearning disabilities are examples of sequelae associated with primary infection.

Meningococcal and beyond? Flavio’s story

Flavio has been living the consequences of invasive meningococcal infection since 2019. At 17, he fell ill while studying at Clermont-Ferrand to become a professional footballer. Its first symptoms are classic: fever, fatigue, body aches, and a feeling of heat and cold. A first medical appointment does not diagnose an infection. The young man does not think to talk to the doctor about his condition pain To the right-hand man, which he attributes to his practice of sports. Barely a few days after the first symptoms appeared, his condition deteriorated sharply. He can no longer put his leg on the ground, hardly sleeps or eats, he is dazzled from before Lights strong and then, Blackouts “, He says.

He spends three days in coma. When he wakes up, he has lost twenty kilograms and is no longer able to get up. Doctors tell him he has meningococcal septicemia. While meningitis is the most common form of infection Neisseria meningitidisThe bacteria can also contaminate the blood — sepsis — and other organs.

If his condition stabilizes, Flavio will not get out of the woods. Indeed, his right leg must be amputated to completely eradicate the infection. The young man gives up his dream of becoming a professional football player. In 2021, he underwent more than ten surgeries as a result of his injury. However, the suit He did not slow down his desire to develop in the world of sports and football. You’ll hear his entire story and all survivors or caregivers who have encountered meningitis in this podcast series.” Unpredictable From Sanofi, France.

Hear Flavio’s story here!

Article produced in partnership with Sanofi


Public Health in France and the Pasteur Institute: ” Invasive meningococcal infections in 2019 “.

Krone M et al. Increased prevalence of meningococcal disease serotype W in Europe, 2013 to 2017. Euro Surveill. 2019; 24 (14): 1-9. Meningitis

Sanofi Pasteur Europe SAS with a capital of 58,200,000 euros – RCS Lyon B 821177425

FRAN000004272 MAT-FR-2202268 Jun 2022

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