Epidemiological Analysis of Meningococcal Meningitis in Taiwan between 2002 and 2006

Shu-Kuan Lai

2007 Vol.23 NO.8

Correspondence Author: Shu-Kuan Lai


from Chinese version, pp,431-446
Meningococcal meningitis is a sporadic transmissible disease in Taiwan. According to statistics, outbreaks happened between 1919-1926 and 1933-1946, with around 300 cases reported annually. After 1946, around 20-30 cases were reported annually. Following the death of a soldier with meningococcal meningitis in Cheng-Kung Hill in June 2001, there was a rapid increase in both the reported and confirmed cases in 2001-2002 and then gradually slowed down after 2003. Recently, the reported cases have been kept below 40 cases per year. No outbreak has occurred except a suspected familial cluster event involving 2 cases (brother and sister) in Jian-Shr, Sing-Jr County in 2002. Most confirmed cases were of those younger than 1 year old or between the age of 20-29. Soldiers also have a higher incident rate. Seasonal distribution of Meningococcal meningitis is similar to other sporadic countries. Counties with higher percentages of aborigine also have higher incidence. Further studies are required to show the correlation between population and incidence. Most confirmed cases were mainly students and soldiers, which might be related to their life styles and high-population density areas. Presenting symptoms were mostly fever, headache, and vomiting. Neck stiffness and hemorrhagic rashes might be signs of severe infection. Most cases were of serotype B. serotype Y was also common among soldiers. Infants younger than 1 year old have the highest mortality rate. Resistance to penicillin and rifampicin treatment has been found.