Meningitis figures (FOI)
Meningitis figures (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 03 July 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please advise how many people in the island, by age group, have been affected by viral or bacterial meningitis between the years 2017 to 2022.
There have been fewer than five cases of culture positive meningococcal bacteraemia between 2017 and 2022 inclusive. As the numbers are small, they have been presented as ‘fewer than five’ in order to protect the privacy of individuals and a further breakdown by age of those affected cannot be provided for the same reason. Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied to protect the personal information of the individuals concerned.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from both patients with possible meningitis and those with no evidence of infection (but with other symptoms or conditions requiring such analysis) is sent to the Health and Community Services (HCS) laboratory for examination. Whilst sample type can be identified from central records, it is not possible to distinguish CSF samples sent for cases of possible meningitis from those sent for any other reason, and review of individual records would be required to identify the indication for testing.
510 CSF samples were received for culture by HCS’ laboratory from 2017 to 2022 inclusive. Due to the way in which virology tests are reported in the laboratory system, HCS’ data does not permit a non-manual analysis of virology cultures, and manually reviewing the records for all CSF samples in scope of this request would exceed the timescales prescribed in the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014. Therefore, Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Below are the number of CSF samples received by the laboratory per annum from 2017 to 2022:
Distinct count of CSF samples
These figures do not suggest an increase in meningitis cases since the emergence of COVID, nor any significant difference in the number of CSF samples taken compared with pre-pandemic levels. HCS’ data is derived from a small population, and data from larger populations will be more sensitive to any signal.
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(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.