Study shows accurate portrayal of meningitis decline in England
This initially worried program officials that health care workers could be passing over a large number of cases, especially with more people in England choosing private laboratories over hospitals.
Fortunately, the study results show that the worry was unnecessary. Scientists combined data taken from private laboratories, the Meningococcal Reference Unit, death registrations, and hospital admissions to learn that the national surveillance program is still accurate. Most of the meningitis cases are still detected by the program.
From 2007 to 2011, the MRU detected 5,115 meningococcal disease cases. Private laboratories confirmed 95 cases during that time, just 44 of which were ones that had not yet been tested by MRU. At hospitals, 2,792 people were admitted under suspicion of meningococcal disease. This shows clinicians continue to look for meningococcal disease among patients.
The Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now sponsored the study, which shows national trends concerning meningitis in approximate real time. The results have been confirmed by the MRU, a branch of Public Health England.