Surveillance and outbreak report Open Access
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In England and Wales, meningococcal disease caused by group W has historically been associated with outbreaks of disease among travellers to high-risk countries. Following a large outbreak associated with travel to the Hajj in 2000, the number of cases declined and, in 2008, only 19 laboratory-confirmed cases were identified nationally. In 2013, in the East Midlands region of England, eight cases of meningococcal disease caused by this serogroup were recorded, compared with six from 2011 to 2012. To explore this further, data for all cases with a date of onset between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013 were collected. Data collected included geographical location, clinical presentation and outcome. Fourteen cases were identified; two died as a result of their illness and two developed long-term health problems. No commonality in terms of geographical location, shared space or activities was identified, suggesting that group W is circulating endemically with local transmission. Clinical presentation was variable. Half presented with symptoms not typical of a classical meningococcal disease, including two cases of cellulitis, which may have implications for clinicians, in terms of timely identification and treatment, and public health specialists, for offering timely antibiotic chemoprophylaxis to close contacts.


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