Northern Ireland news

Pupils at school where children admitted to hospital with meningococcal infection to receive vaccinations

Birches PS outside Portadown

PUPILS at a school where two children were admitted to hospital with a meningococcal infection are to receive follow-up treatments.

The families of both pupils at Birches PS near Portadown, as well as staff and other children, were given antibiotics.

It is understood that the two P3 pupils are recovering well.

On top of antibiotics, every child is to receive separate vaccinations - one before and one after the Christmas holidays.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) confirmed the two cases of meningococcal infection this week.

Such infections can lead to meningitis or septicaemia.

"The PHA is informed about all cases of probable or confirmed meningococcal infection and will take appropriate actions following national guidelines," the PHA said.

"Both families have received preventative medication (antibiotics), as have children and staff at the school. This is being done as a precautionary measure and the risk to the wider public is extremely low."

It added that it was important that everyone was aware of the signs and symptoms.

"Early symptoms of the disease may include a high temperature, being sick, a headache, a blotchy rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it, a stiff neck, a dislike of bright lights, drowsiness or unresponsiveness, seizures," the PHA said.

"Babies with meningococcal disease tend to be irritable when picked up and have a high pitched cry, stiff body and jerking movements.

"Should anyone develop any of these they should contact their GP or local emergency department immediately."

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