Monday, November 12th 2012 - 07:30 UTC

Meningitis scare in Chile: all children five and below to be vaccinated

The Chilean government announced Sunday a plan to combat a very aggressive strain of meningitis, with 45 confirmed cases and ten deaths, and which includes a massive vaccination of all children less than five years in metropolitan Santiago and the arrival to the country of experts from the US and the Pan-American Health Organization, OPS.

Health minister Jaime Mañalich announcing details of the vaccination campaign

For weeks now Chile has been suffering a steady increase of meningitis cases caused by the W-135 strain with great deadly impact but low direct contagion.

“We’ve created a group Plan of Action W-135 to combat and prevent this new bacterium. The situation on Sunday remains the same as on Saturday: we have 45 confirmed cases with W-135 and ten deaths”, said Health minister Jaime Mañalich.

The action plan “will coordinate the vaccination strategy plus the monitoring of field actions currently in process for the implementation of the campaign”.

A vaccination campaign is already in action in one of Santiago’s main neighbourhoods, Peñalolen where the largest number of contagion cases was reported. As of Monday the vaccine program will be extended to five other neighbourhoods so as to have covered all children up to five years by 31 December. The target of the Chilean Health ministry it to distribute 1.9 million doses of the meningitis vaccine.

Meanwhile the head of OPS in Chile Jose Antonio Pagés said that a group of experts from the US and the World Health Organization will be arriving by 20 November to follow in-situ the disease and spread of the bacteria, which is similar to that which attacked Argentina and Brazil, but far “more aggressive”.

“We believe the situation in Chile is under control. Chile detected quite early the problem and acted immediately, but we are concerned that this strain could move to other countries. That is why the experts are coming”, said Pagés.

Meanwhile the Education ministry announced that over 4.000 headmasters from schools in metropolitan Santiago will be given crash programs on meningitis, symptoms, and to help with the vaccination program.

“We plan a constant briefing and updating and hopefully we will also organize lectures for parents and older children so that everybody is aware of the disease”, said Dr Maria Teresa Valenzuela head of Ministry of Health Labs Department.

9 comments Feed

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1 ProRG_American (#) Nov 12th, 2012 - 07:38 am Report abuse
Long live the Chilean model!
2 ManRod (#) Nov 12th, 2012 - 10:51 am Report abuse
what a stupid comment from an argentinian idiot, pretending to be american. What has the model to do with Menginitis... or do you think Menginitis disease is Pro-CFK? (Might be... they are a similar disease)
3 Condorito (#) Nov 12th, 2012 - 04:11 pm Report abuse
ProArgie, has to maintain his(her) reputation as the forum idiot, whether (s)he post as ProArgie, Suzzie...etc, the idiocy is always visible.
[ (S)he also thinks that seismic activity is related to the “Chilean Model”. ]

According to UNICEF infant mortality in:

Japan: 2.21
UK: 4.56
Chile: 7.36
Botswana: 10.49
Argentina: 10.52

So, as with so many indicators, Chile catching up with the developed world, Argentina catching up with Africa.
Of course UNICEF wants to destroy Argentina, yeah yeah yeah....
4 Ayayay (#) Nov 12th, 2012 - 06:36 pm Report abuse
@3 Good point
5 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 14th, 2012 - 10:45 pm Report abuse
#2 What a stupid comment from an idiot pretending to be a patriotic Chilean, then comparing a friendly neighbouring leader to an outbreak of disease! In all seriousness, my thoughts and best wishes to the people of Chile
6 Condorito (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:32 pm Report abuse
Quite right, the toxic harpy next door is a disease – soon to be cured.
7 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:54 am Report abuse
#6 Cured by what?! Don't you think its a bit insulting to the victims to compare their illness to a neighbouring leader many of them may admire?
8 Condorito (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:52 pm Report abuse
To say “Long live the Chilean model!” in reference to children dying is insulting and idiotic, yet you don't seem to take issue with that.

What is even more idiotic is to say “many of them may admire” - how many Chilean children under 5 do you think admire CFK. Numpty.
9 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:19 pm Report abuse
#8 Many Chileans do admire Cristina though don't they, not least the ones who want to secede to her country!

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