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Meningitis Vaccine Being Developed From Common Cold Virus

A leading cause for meningitis and septicemia in the UK is meningococcus B (MenB) bacterium infection. Healthy children can become severely ill within just a few hours if they contract meningitis or septicemia, as both illnesses develop randomly and with alarming speed. It often occurs in babies, very young children or teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19 years.

Each year, over 1,300 cases of MenB diseases are reported in the UK and Ireland. 5% of those who contract the disease will die, three quarters of which are children below the age of 5, and those who survive can be left with permanent disabilities, including deafness or blindness, developing learning disabilities, and having digits or even entire limbs amputated.

Pioneering scientists hope to find a way to provide an effective protection against the devastating disease by developing a new meningitis vaccine in which a harmless version of the cold virus is inserted with part of the bacterium.

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