HC Deb 06 March 1996 vol 273 cc292-3W
Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases there have been of meningitis (i) A, (ii) B and (iii) C in each of the last five years(a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in each EU country. [19225]

Mr. Horam

In the past five years the numbers of cases of meningococcal infection reported in England and Wales, including cases of meningitis and septicaemia, and due to each group of Neisseria meningitidis are as shown in the table.

Isolates of N meningitidis received at the Public Health Laboratory Service's meningococcal reference laboratory 1990–95, England and Wales
Group 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 11995
A 13 6 7 2 1 0
B 997 959 923 929 789 866
C 466 394 326 319 291 444
Other groups 24 39 45 47 48 64
All groups 1,500 1,398 1,301 1,297 1,129 1,394
1 Provisional date for 1995

Data for each European Union country is not routinely collated by the Public Health Laboratory Service and may not, in any case, be comparable between different countries because of different reporting systems and differing access to grouping and typing facilities.

Information relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which countries in the EU give routine meningitis vaccinations to children. [19226]

Mr. Horam

Eleven of the 15 countries in the European Union give routine Hib vaccine, which protects against cases of meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae type b infections. Hib vaccine was introduced into the United Kingdom childhood immunisation programme in 1992 and has been a great success. The vaccine has virtually eliminated Hib meningitis in young children.

No countries in the European Union currently give routine vaccination against meningococcal meningitis—that is, cases caused by Neisseria meningitidis.