This summer they lost their friend Fredrik, 18, after meeting the Russians in Greece. Now the Russian bus “Breadheads” started a spiel to increase information about infectious meningitis in children.
– Information about infectious meningitis should reach young people. Many people do not know that there are many types of it MeningitisMeningitisMeningitis means encephalitis: inflammation of the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Bacteria and viruses predominate as causes. Fungi are rare and parasites are a very rare cause of disease. Source: Great Norwegian Encyclopedia.Russebus manager Emile Chaigneau Stein (18) tells VG.
On Sunday, he and other members of the “Breadheads” bus from Baram collected more than NOK 180,000. split. The money they receive goes to the interest group’s income LHL sepsis and meningitis. Its mission is to spread knowledge about infectious meningitis.
– We want youth, parents, schools, health workers and tour organizers for Russian gatherings to be more informed. We want to prevent others from losing friends to meningitis, Stein emphasizes.
The initiative comes after the “breadheads” lost their friend Fredrik, 18, who became very ill with infectious meningitis after a Russian trip to Greece this summer. He died in hospital in Norway in early August.
Relatives said that VG is filing a complaint about the matter.
Vaccination is given only against the type of virus
– Many people don’t know that the vaccine given to young people only protects against the viral type of meningitis, Stein points out.
His friend Fredrik (18) died of meningitis type B, a bacterial and often fatal meningitis. This species is most common in southern Europe.
Emily Cygno shared a room with Stein Friedrich during a Russian trip to Ios in Greece, she says.
– Fredrik is easy to get to know. Unique and outgoing. His death has affected us greatly. We noticed that we didn’t know enough about meningitis and received many questions from others.
The “breadheads” gang now wants to do something about the lack of knowledge.
Not in the plan
There are two types of meningococcal vaccine against infectious meningitis:
- In some municipalities, Norwegian youth are given a vaccine that protects against meningococcal bacteria types A, C, W and Y.
- A second type of vaccine protects against type B. This vaccine must be administered by individuals and is a more expensive vaccine than the ACWY vaccine.
It appears from the Public Health Institute (FHI). Its information pages And information given by FHI VG.
According to FHI’s chief physician Sarah Sophie Wixmon Watlin, with three recent exceptions – there have been no cases of type B among young adults in Norway since 2015. The FHI therefore recommends the ACWY vaccine FHI mainly for young adults between 16 and 19 years of age.
ACWY vaccine does not provide protection against type B disease.
Meningitis develops quickly. Therefore, FHI emphasizes in its information content that it is very important to go to the hospital early if you feel unwell.
It is up to the municipalities to decide
Marte Christine Barrera, head of LHL Sepsis and Meningitt, praises the efforts of the “Breadheads” Russian boys:
– It’s wonderful and very touching that they make such an effort and honor their friend in that way.
An interest group is working to ensure that both types of vaccines are free. Barrera says that today, no vaccine types are included in the childhood vaccination program.
– It is up to the individual municipality to decide whether the meningitis vaccine should be provided free of charge. In Norway, only 29 percent of all municipalities offer free ACWY-type vaccination, he tells VG.
This was evident in a survey conducted by the interest group earlier this year and sent to FHI.
– Pride to youth
Friedrich’s relatives do not want to be named, but tell VG they support the collection.
– It is very good for young people to do this. They support each other and take matters into their own hands. I am proud of them and glad they started one splitAmma tells Viji.
– As relatives, we want to know that there are different types of meningitis. There should be more knowledge among health workers and school nurses. Friedrich was vaccinated against type A. He had no symptoms until it was too late.
There are two types of vaccines
After Frederick’s death, all close contacts and 500 to 600 young men who participated in the Russian tour of Greece were given the B vaccine.
That won’t work, say both Friedrich’s relatives and the “breadheads” gang.
– Vaccination against type B should also be given to young people. Emily Cygno-Stein says information should be better.
Marte Christine Barrera fears that the incidence of type B will increase in the future.
– As much as Norwegians travel now, it is important to get the free offer of the B vaccine for young people in the program.
FHI: – No government funding
Sarah Sophie Wixmon, senior physician at FHI, explains by email that no government funding is attached to the recommendation to take the meningococcal vaccine because the vaccine is not part of the childhood vaccination program.
– For vaccinations outside the program, each municipality or district needs to evaluate whether they want to prioritize this activity within their budget framework, Wattle writes to VG.
– What is FHI’s opinion to critics who believe that both the ACWY vaccine and the B vaccine should be included in the childhood vaccination program?
– FHI provided one Report In June 2023 the Ministry of Health and Welfare assessed whether the ACWY vaccine should be offered free of charge to all young people. The report concludes that this will provide individual and societal benefits. The FHI Chairman replies that the final decision on whether the vaccine should be included in the vaccination program for children is taken by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Before August, Norway had not seen cases of meningococcal type B since 2015, he says. However, the bacteria caused disease in other age groups.
– There have now been three cases of meningococcal B disease among young people in a short period of time. It is too early to say whether this is a coincidence or a permanent change in the infectious state.
B vaccine is good for travel
The FHI chief physician insists that young people who want protection against all strains that cause disease in Norway should take both vaccines.
– The meningococcal B vaccine may also be appropriate for young people traveling on group trips, such as Russian trips to the south or other large events such as scout camps and festivals, Waddle writes.
Watch video: August 8 Press Conference on Infectious Meningitis
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