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Outbreak of serogroup W135 meningococcal disease after the Hajj pilgrimage, Europe, 2000

, , , and . Emerging Infectious Diseases 8 (8): 761--767 (August 2002)PMID: 12141959.

Abstract

The 2000 Hajj (March 15-18) was followed by an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis W135 2a: P1.2,5 in Europe. From March 18 to July 31, 2000, some 90 cases of meningococcal infection were reported from nine countries, mostly the United Kingdom (UK) and France; 14 cases were fatal. Although most early cases were in pilgrims, the outbreak spread to their contacts and then to those with no known pilgrim contact. In France and the UK, the outbreak case-fatality rate was compared with the rate reported from national surveillance. The risk of dying during this outbreak was higher in France and the UK, although the difference was not statistically significant. Prophylaxis for all pilgrims and their household contacts was offered in France; in the UK and other European countries, prophylaxis was recommended only for close contacts. No difference in transmission rates following intervention was detected between France and the UK.

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