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Meningitis: Party guests from KitKatClub in Berlin may have been infected
A visitor to the “KitKatClub” in Berlin was probably infected with bacterial meningitis there. Therefore, the club's guests are now requested to contact a doctor and seek preventive treatment. The disease can become life-threatening.
Authority calls for preventive treatment
As the district office Reinickendorf wrote in a message, there was a transmission of bacterial meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) in the KitKatClub in Berlin-Mitte on Saturday, September 29, 2018, according to current knowledge. "All people who were in the KitKatClub on Saturday should get preventive treatment immediately," warns the authority. "Please see your family doctor or the emergency room of a hospital immediately."
Transmission mostly by droplet infection
According to the information, it is known so far that the meningococci belong to one of the groups A, C, Y, W135.
Meningococci are bacteria that settle in the nasopharynx of humans and, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), can be detected there in about ten percent of the population without any clinical symptoms.
They are most commonly transmitted by droplet infection. When talking, coughing or sneezing, the bacteria escape into the air in small droplets from the nasopharynx and can be inhaled from a short distance.
In addition, the pathogens can be transmitted as a smear infection even in close contact with the sick, for example by touching the nasal secretion. Outside the body, the bacteria die quickly.
Infection often leads to blood poisoning or meningitis
According to health experts, two forms of meningococcal disease can occur individually or together.
About a third of meningococcal cases lead to blood poisoning (sepsis). Meningitis occurs in two thirds of the infections.
"The incubation period is usually 3 to 4 days, but it can also be between 2 and 10 days," says the RKI.
"Those affected are contagious up to 7 days before the onset of the symptoms. 24 hours after the start of an effective antibiotic therapy, sick people are no longer contagious, ”explains the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on its“ infektionsschutz.de ”portal.
If an infection is suspected, go to the hospital immediately
According to the experts, sufferers must go to the hospital immediately if they suspect meningococcal infection.
“The infection is treated with antibiotics. Up to 24 hours after the start of antibiotic therapy, sick people are isolated in order to protect others from transmission, ”writes the BZgA.
Symptoms that indicate the serious illness are severe headache, high fever, chills, dizziness, neck stiffness and severe illness.
"A serious, life-threatening clinical picture can develop within a few hours," says the district office of Reinickendorf.
Vaccines are available against all five serogroups occurring in Germany - A, B, C, W135 and Y. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends vaccination against meningococcal C from the age of 12 months.
STIKO also recommends vaccination against serogroup B for people with impaired immune function or close contact with a person suffering from meningococcal disease. A general recommendation is still pending.
However, meningococcal B vaccination is publicly recommended in the federal states of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as well as in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Brandenburg, Thuringia and Bavaria.
Over 60 percent of health insurance companies are now reimbursing the costs on request. Vaccination against the comparatively rare serogroups A, W135 or Y is recommended if there is a risk to health or when traveling to risk areas. (ad)