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Unusual increase in meningococcal disease reported in Uruguay

Montevideo, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) today warned of an unusual increase in cases of meningococcal disease in recent days.

The disease, which has an annual average of 20 to 30 cases, is mainly affecting children under five years of age and adolescents over 15.

A statement from the MSP indicates that control and prevention actions were taken in each patient. So far, no epidemiological link between the patients has been identified.

“Meningococcemia is a disease that can affect different areas of the body; it can damage the meninges and cause meningococcal meningitis or reach the blood and cause fever, which, if it progresses rapidly, leads to purpura fulminans,” the statement explains.

Transmission occurs from person to person through the respiratory tract in close and direct contact between people living in the same house, sharing a room such as a bedroom, day-care center or school.

The incubation period of the disease is two to four days and the sick person stops infecting between 24 and 48 hours after initiating effective treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial.

Public Health urges to consult a physician immediately and to avoid self-medication in case of fever.

In addition, it recommends regular airing of rooms, especially if in contact with people with acute respiratory disease.