DTP & Meningitis ACWY

icon-plaster.png

Diphtheria Vaccine

Diphtheria is a highly infectious disease affecting the throat and upper airways, caused by the diphtheria bacterium. The disease is found worldwide and high vaccination uptake is required to keep the rates of infection low. It is still prevalent in many countries due to low immunisation levels, especially the Indian Subcontinent, Central and South East Asia, Africa and South America.

 

Transmission

Infection is spread person to person through coughing or sneezing.

 

Symptoms

Diphtheria is an extremely serious illness and treatment is required as soon as the disease is suspected to prevent fatality. The incubation period is 2-5 days and symptoms include fever, sore throat, enlarged glands in the neck. If not treated early, the infection can cause obstruction of the airway and is fatal in 5-10% of cases. Fatality rates are higher in young children and older adults. Damage to the heart muscle and nervous system can also occur with the illness.

 

Treatment

Intensive care support is required. Early administration of Diphtheria antitoxin helps reduce fatality, as does antibiotics.

 

Prevention

There is a highly effective vaccine against Diphtheria, which is included in the childhood immunisations programme of most countries.

 

Tetanus Vaccination

Tetanus is a life threatening infection caused by a bacteria that is found in the environment worldwide.

 

Transmission

The bacteria enters the body through skin wounds or cuts, especially soil contaminated wounds.

 

Symptoms

The incubation period is 4-21 days.  Symptoms are due to muscles spasms and rigidity and include lock jaw and paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Death rates vary from 10% (if good intensive medical care is available) to 90%. Children and older adults are especially vulnerable.

 

Treatment

Treatment includes intensive medical care, tetanus Immunoglobulin and wound care.

 

Prevention

Vaccination is the mainstay of prevention as it is not possible to eradicate the bacteria from the environment.

 

Polio

 

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. Since the launch of the Global Eradication Programme led by WHO, the incidence of Polio has fell by 99% since 1988. The disease is now endemic in 2 countries-Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, sporadic outbreaks still occur due to imported disease or as result of the oral polio vaccine virus reverting to infectious type.

 

Transmission

The virus is transmitted through the personal contact and contaminated food and water.

 

Symptoms

The virus spreads from the gut to the nervous system causing paralysis. Irreversible paralysis occurs in 1 in 200 cases of polio and the death rate is 5-10% due to respiratory failure.

 

Treatment

There is no treatment for polio infection and good supportive care is required.

Prevention

The success of the Polio eradication programme is related to widespread vaccination campaign.

Find NHS information on commonly asked questions here:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/3-in-1-booster-questions-answers/

Meningitis ACYW Vaccination

 

Meningococcal Meningitis

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neiserria Meningitidis, of which there are around 12 strains. Six strains are responsible for epidemics worldwide-A, B. C, W, X and Y. Strains B and C are mainly responsible for outbreaks in industrialised countries, whereas strains A and W135 occur in the “meningitis belt” of Sub Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal to parts of Ethiopia and causing outbreaks in the dry season annually.

Transmission

The bacteria is carried at the back of the throat in 1 in 10 people and in 1 in 4 teenagers. It is transmitted through close contact by coughing, sneezing, kissing and sharing food and drinking utensils.

Symptoms

Meningococcal infection can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), septicaemia (blood poisoning) or both. Symptoms can develop within hours and can be non-specific. It is much harder to identify the infection in babies as the typical features tend to be absent.  The rash does not always occur. In children and adults symptoms can include:

  • sudden onset of a high fever

  • a severe headache

  • dislike of bright lights (photophobia)

  • vomiting

  • painful joints

  • fitting

  • drowsiness that can deteriorate into a coma

In babies there may also be:

  • high pitched moaning or whimpering

  • blank starring, inactivity, hard to wake up

  • poor feeding

  • neck retraction with arching of the back

  • pale and blotchy complexion

Septicaemia occurs if the bacteria enter the bloodstream. A characteristic rash develops and may start as a cluster of pinprick blood spots under the skin, spreading to form bruises under the skin. The rash can appear anywhere on the body. It can be distinguished from other rashes by the fact that it does not fade when pressed under the bottom of a glass (the tumbler test).

Useful links:

Find NHS information on the Meningitis ACWY vaccine: here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/men-acwy-vaccine/

Find information from UK charity Meningitis Now here: 

https://www.meningitisnow.org/meningitis-explained/what-is-meningitis/types-and-causes/meningococcal-disease/faqs-meningococcal-acwy-vaccine/

Find information on teenage immunisations for ages 14 to 18 (English and translations): 

http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/teenage-immunisations-ages-14-18-english-and-translations

VUK-Logo-Horiz_edited.jpg

Vaccine Information

For information about the vaccines we provide, click on a link below:

icon-plaster.png
DTP & Meningitis ACWY
icon-heart.png
Infant BCG
icon-dna.png
HPV
icon-drops.png
Nasal Flu

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio teenage booster vaccine

Protection (up to 80%) against severe forms of childhood TB, such as TB meningitis

The HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination protects against cervical cancer

The nasal spray works even better than the injected flu vaccine with fewer side effects