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WHO calls for a new vaccine against infant meningitis!

It is a cry from the heart to scientists to save thousands of children. Miscarriages, abnormalities and especially the deaths of babies worry the World Health Organization. We must speed up the process of developing vaccines that began nearly thirty years ago.

The alarming situation in the world

Attention is drawn to a joint report by WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Through this report, the organization is launching an urgent appeal to the entire vaccine production chain.

First, scientists, then partners at various levels. The urgency of a vaccine against streptococcus is a reality given the ineffectiveness of the various current measures which have not been able to improve the situation of children. We need to think about a vaccine for mothers during pregnancy to protect the children.

The disturbing statistics

An estimated 100,000 children die each year from group B streptococcus. The number of miscarriages is estimated at around 50,000 cases per year. Many pregnant women carry the bacteria without noticeable symptoms. According to figures from the World Health Organization, these women carriers make 15% of women in condition. This percentage is equivalent to around 20 million pregnancies each year. The bacteria that lodge in the vagina constitutes a danger for the infant, before, during and after childbirth.

Group B streptococcus, a danger to motherhood

The danger is present at almost all stages of pregnancy. First, scientists have noticed that the bacteria easily migrate from the vagina to the fetus. In such cases, it can create abnormalities in the fetus and a miscarriage at worst. This bacterium is responsible for thousands of premature births around the world. The newborn is exposed to contamination during birth or the days following birth.

Second, since the mother is already carrying the bacteria in her vagina, transmission is rapid. It is the cause of cerebral palsy, and loss of hearing and sight in many children.

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How is group B streptococcus treated now?

The preventive treatment that exists to this day consists of giving the mother an antibiotic during labor. This method of infant protection has shown its limits because it has always been observed that the situation has not improved in any way for decades. It is therefore urgent to think of a vaccine according to the WHO. If mothers are protected in advance, it will be easier to limit transmission to infants.

Things to Know About the Group B Strep Vaccine Race

For the past thirty years, WHO has closely followed several processes in this field. Unfortunately, no vaccine has yet been validated to more effectively address the strep problem worldwide. Yet the bacteria do enough damage each year. This danger to which babies are exposed requires a joint reaction from all health actors at various levels.

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