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Antibiotics can cut meningitis risk

When someone comes down with meningitis, giving household contacts i.e. people in contact with the infected person, the appropriate antibiotics can reduce their risk of infection by 89 percent, according to recent research.

Antibiotics can cut meningitis risk

When someone comes down with meningitis, giving household contacts i.e. people in contact with the infected person, the appropriate antibiotics can reduce their risk of infection by 89 percent, according to recent research.
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Meningitis can be caused by a number of bacteria or viruses, but the meningococcus microbe is the usual culprit in epidemic forms of the disease. Researchers form the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre in Gloucester, England, and centres in Wales, Austria and Germany, identified studies on meningitis outbreaks that included at least 10 cases in which outcomes were compared between treated and untreated groups. Their analysis revealed that the odds of a 'person in contact' catching the infection when they were given preventive antibiotics was only 11% of the risk for untreated contacts. The researchers also point to a shortage of evidence about the value of preventive antibiotics in childcare settings, where variation in government policy is wide. The researchers are currently in the middle of a study looking at the incidence of clusters in nursery or day care settings, and correlating that evidence with policy.
BMJ,
June 2004

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