Live updates

Advertisement

Meningitis petition reaches nearly 700,000 signatures

Faye Burdett, who died from meningitis Credit: Family photo

Pressure is building on the Government to give the meningitis B vaccine to all children aged under 11 as the number of signatories to a petition approaches 700,000 - making it the most popular petition since their introduction.

Huge support for the campaign comes after several high-profile cases involving the devastating virus, that can kill its victims or leave them in need of life-changing amputations.

Pictures of two-year-old Faye Burdett, from Maidstone, Kent, who died from the virus on Valentine's Day, prompted a surge in support for the cause and the petition received a further boost when England rugby hero Matt Dawson revealed his two-year-old son, Sam, was recovering after contracting meningitis C.

Any petition that receives over 100,000 signatures will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Advertisement

Brighton schoolboy dies of meningitis

A schoolboy from the Brighton area died this week after he contracted meningitis, health officials said.

A Public Health England (PHE) spokeswoman said letters have been sent to parents at the boy's school and only those who had come into immediate contact with the child would be at risk of contracting the illness.

Public Health England can confirm that a child from the Brighton area has sadly died of presumed meningococcal septicaemia. This is seldom transmitted from person to person.

Only close household contacts need antibiotics as a precaution against an extremely low risk of the contacts transmitting the disease to anyone else. The child's immediate household contacts have received these. Nobody else needs to receive antibiotics.

Our thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

– A Public Health England spokeswoman

Meningitis B vaccine to be rolled out by September

The meningitis B vaccine looks set to become part of the national immunisation programme by September this year after the government reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to provide all babies in the UK with the potentially life-saving injection.

ITV News Reporter Duncan Golestani spoke to one family who have been affected by meningitis about why the vaccine is important:

Load more updates