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Meningococcal Graph Error

Statement issued in response to: False Meningococcal Data Distributed by Experts - PR 27 June 2005 - Ron Law and Barbara Sumner Burstyn

Media Statement

Immunisation Advisory Centre
University of Auckland.
28th June 2005.

Meningococcal Graph Error.

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC), have confirmed with the national data surveillance centre Environmental Science and Research (ESR) that there was an error in the entry of the 2004 data in one graph showing the annual lab-confirmed strain isolates of meningococcal disease. The data has since been corrected and appears in the finalised ESR report for 2004, which was released last week. The full report is available from the Ministry of Health web site

A précis of the full report can be viewed on the ESR web site in the News section.

It is noteworthy that this graph indicates a drop in type B strain specific cases in 2004 when the vaccine was introduced. This is an exciting early sign that may be reflecting the impact of the vaccine.



Excerpt from: Meningococcal Disease in New Zealand 1991 – 2004, ESR

Click for big version

New Zealand started its epidemic of meningococcal disease in 1991. The current epidemic has been caused by a strain of Group B – it is this strain that the vaccine MeNZB™ will protect against. Meningococci for strain typing are recovered from about 75% of cases. For about 25% of cases clinically diagnosed a meningococcus is not obtained for typing. These cases are described as probable and are not represented in the graph below titled “meningococcal case strains typed 1990-2004”.

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