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MRF's Meningitis Symposium

15 July 2015

CoMO was delighted to attend the symposium held by The Meningitis Research Foundation on July 9th in Bristol, UK. The event was well attended by health professionals, government agencies, healthcare charities and scientists and involved a number of fascinating talks and a Q&A session with meningitis experts.

The first talk by Ella Bailey gave an inspirational account of her life after meningitis, describing the obstacles she has faced since contracting the disease at 13 months old, how she has worked to overcome them, and how very different things could have been had she not received treatment when she did. The rest of the morning was dedicated to discussions around MenB and MenACWY. Experts gave insights into how the new vaccine programmes in the UK, due to roll out later this year, will operate, the epidemiology behind the meningococcal bacteria and how the Bexsero vaccine is able to prevent it from causing the disease. There was also a presentation on the attitudes towards the MenB vaccine in parents and health professionals, explaining how the new vaccine schedule is being perceived and providing ideas for how best to reassure the public.

The morning concluded with a panel discussion with various meningitis experts, where delegates were able to put forward questions about the new programme. Over the course of the morning there were a number of questions addressed about the use of paracetamol to reduce fever in infants post-vaccination. The timing of doses and the proposed method for incorporation into the process of vaccine scheduling were the main areas of discussion.

The afternoon session covered some of the latest cutting-edge research into meningitis being carried out across the UK. Delegates learnt about the genetic basis of meningococcal disease and the after-effects of viral meningitis.  There was also an update on the UK-ChiMES study, a study resulting from the collaboration between the Liverpool Brain Infections Group and the UK Childhood Meningitis Study Group. This study aims to improve the outcomes of encephalitis and meningitis in children.

This symposium was a great opportunity to learn about some of the latest research and prevention techniques taking place in the UK. MRF will also be hosting a conference from November 4-5 later this year, which we also look forward to attending. Learn more about the conference here: http://www.meningitis.org/conference2015.

To learn more about the presentations and topics covered in the symposium please visit the MRF website: http://www.meningitis.org/symposium2015

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