Dáil Éireann - Volume 401 - 11 July, 1990
Written Answers. - Increase in Incidence of Meningitis.
Mr. Barry Mr. Barry
25. Mr. Barry asked the Minister for Health if he will order an inquiry into the increase in the incidence of meningitis.
Mr. Sherlock Mr. Sherlock
26. Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Health if he is taking any steps to identify the reasons for the increase in the incidence of bacterial meningitis; if he plans any preventative measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon) Rory O'Hanlon
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): I propose to answer Questions Nos. 25 and 26 together.
As I indicated in my reply to Question No. 15 which I answered on 21 June 1990 — Official Report, columns 791-792,  volume 400 — the cases of bacterial meningitis reported to the Department of Health under the Infectious Diseases Regulations, 1981, do not show any significant increase in the incidence of the disease.
These notifications show that the reported incidence of bacterial meningitis has fluctuated but it is recognised that there has been a slight increase in its prevalence both in this country and in the UK over the past ten years. Most of the cases which have occurred in this country have appeared as isolated cases with no recognised relationship to each other. Following the diagnosis of a case it is usual that the local health personnel investigate the family situation and other contacts with the patients and arrange for prophylaxis, where required.
I am concerned that the situation regarding all cases of meningitis be monitored closely so that the necessary prophylactic and other control measures can be introduced as a matter of urgency.
The following figures in respect of Cork city and South County Cork are as follows: 1988, six cases; 1989, ten cases and 1990 (to date), five cases.
Dáil Éireann 401 Written Answers. Increase in Incidence of Meningitis.