Meningococcal disease shows no sign of abating with a significant increase in cases in July. During the week 20 July to 27 July alone, there were 21 reports. This brings the total number of cases in the year to 27 July 2001 to 316, with 15 deaths. In the same time last year a total of 241 cases were reported with eight deaths.
Ministry of Health Public Health Medicine Specialist Jane O'Hallahan says we are currently in the 11th year of the epidemic, which is expected to continue for a further 10 years. Dr O'Hallahan says a tailor-made vaccine for New Zealand is under development.