Northern Ireland

Third meningitis case in County Down

A third suspected case of meningitis is being investigated in County Down.

The child involved is a pupil at St Patrick's primary school in Legamaddy, near Downpatrick.

There have already been two cases of meningococcal infection in Our Lady and St Patrick primary school in Downpatrick.

A child has meningitis and a second pupil is being treated as another "probable case" of the infection.

The Public Health Agency is working closely with both schools to investigate the cases.

Dr Richard Smithson, consultant in communicable disease control, PHA, said: "I would like to reassure the parents of the children who attend the school that the likelihood of further cases at the school is low but, in line with standard national advice, immediate family of the child have been provided with antiobiotics.

"The risk to the wider community is extremely low."

The PHA said there are approximately 60-70 cases of meningococcal meningitis each year in Northern Ireland.

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