Fifty deaths annually from menigococcus infections

Statistics Netherlands cause of death statistics show that some fifty people a year in the Netherlands died from a meningococcus infection in the period 1996 to 1999. The meningococcus bacterium causes severe infections such as meningitis and septicaemia.

Figures from Statistics Netherlands show that half of deaths from these infections are children aged under five. Death rates among teenagers aged 15 and 16 is also higher than for other ages, while 13% of people dying from these infections are 65 or older.

Deaths from meningococcus infections by age, 1996-1999

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In the period 1996 to 1999 a total 106 men and 92 women died from causes related to meningococcus infections. In 189 cases this bacterium was the direct cause, in nine cases is was a complication of another, usually serious disease. This figures for 1996-1999 do not show a clear increase or decrease for this cause of death. The number of deaths varied between 43 and 55 a year in this period.

Deaths from meningococcus infections by month of death, 1996-1999

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In the course of the year, most deaths (35 %) occur in the winter months December, January and February, compared with 19% in the months June, July and August.

Gerard Verwey