The regional health agency of Corsica indicates in a press release this Friday, September 2 that a death linked to an invasive meningococcal infection in Ajaccio. The person, whose age and sex have not been disclosed, has been diagnosed with “purpura fulminans”, a severe form of sepsis. She had been taken care of at the hospital center of Mercy.
The ARS explains that “all people identified as at-risk contacts have benefited from antibiotic treatment to prevent the occurrence of new cases”. No other cases of infection have yet been detected. Risks of meningococcal contamination “are exceptional” because the germ is “very fragile in the external environment” underlines the ARS. “No other measure is necessary, neither school or professional eviction for contact subjects who have been in contact with the patient, nor any disinfection of premises or closure of establishments is recommended” continues the press release.
Very rare infections
Meningococci are “bacteria normally present in the throat and nose of many people” Explain Ministry of Health website. “Most often, meningococci do not cause any particular illnesses, but in some cases they can cause very serious illnesses such as meningitis or septicemia. Two symptoms of these infections should alert according to the ministry, namely “a poorly tolerated high fever” and “one or more rapidly appearing red or purplish spots”.
Around 500 cases of invasive meningococcal infections are recorded each year in France, i.e. an incidence rate of less than 1 patient per 100,000 inhabitants. according to figures from Public Health France. These infections cause an average of 50 to 60 deaths each year in the country (between 10% and 12% of recorded cases). They can also cause several sequelae such as deafness, neurological damage, amputations and skin scars. Infants, young children and young adults under the age of 24 are mostly affected.