News of the WeekInfectious Disease

Shortage of Meningitis Vaccine Forces Triage in Burkina Faso

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Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1499-1501
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5612.1499a

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Public health officials are scrambling to halt a mounting epidemic of bacterial meningitis in Burkina Faso, caused in part by an uncommon and hard-to-fight strain of the Neisseria meningitidis bacterium known as W135. They are now being forced to ration the limited supply in a way that saves as many lives as possible.