Health written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Tony Cunningham Tony Cunningham Labour, Workington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps he has taken to prevent an outbreak of meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia in universities in the UK in the light of the emergency vaccination scheme set up at Princeton university after an outbreak there in late 2013.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Public Health England has published and regularly updates guidelines for the control of outbreaks of meningococcal disease (see: “Guidance for public health management of meningococcal disease in the UK”) and also provides advice through the “Green Book” (Immunisation against infectious disease). This guidance is informed by United Kingdom and global infectious disease surveillance data, epidemiological studies and expert opinion. Additional guidance for the specific prevention of invasive meningococcal capsular group B (MenB) disease has been developed and an interim version is available online. The final guidance will be published as soon as it has completed the internal approvals processes.

Collectively, these documents provide detailed recommendations to prevent and control further cases of meningococcal disease following an outbreak in a university or any other educational setting. For MenB outbreaks, current recommendations include use of antibiotics and the recently-licensed MenB vaccine, Bexsero®, where appropriate.

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