Mum’s Meningococcal Trial: ‘You Just Hope Your Baby Survives’ – Economy & Volkswagen – News

Munich (Other) – Birgitte’s daughter Leonie fell ill with meningococcal sepsis when she was just four months old. Leonie, now 19, no longer remembers it, but her mother will never forget what she experienced. In the video ( a mother and daughter give emotional visions. Since then, the family has celebrated Leonie’s “second birthday” every year: the day the little girl was out of danger at the time.

Non-specific symptoms complicate the diagnosis

Fortunately, meningococcal disease is very rare. However, because they often begin with non-specific, flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, chills, and dizziness, they are difficult to recognize at first. (1) But within a few hours it can become life-threatening (1) and turn a family’s life upside down – as in the case of Leoni.

Birgitte did not see her daughter’s illness coming. On the contrary: it was a day like any other. After playing together, her mother would put her to bed at night. But a few hours later, Birgitte noticed that Leonie was agitated. She was tossing her head from side to side, convulsive and strained. Birgit immediately knew something was wrong. “It was clear to me that we had to go to the hospital right away. You can’t wait until tomorrow,” she recalls.

Birgitte’s gut feeling saved Leonie’s life

Birgitte trusted her gut feeling and went with her daughter to the hospital. Lab tests were initially unremarkable, but the attending physician already had a suspicion. When Leonie started bleeding into the skin in the form of small red spots on her stomach, a symptom of septicemia, everything had to happen quickly and the little girl was taken to the intensive care unit. Says the mother who moves. Diagnosis: meningococcal sepsis. Leonie was in acute mortal danger, and the chance of survival was uncertain.

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Wait and fear

There was nothing to do but wait and see if the treatment worked. The next twenty-four hours must decide if Leonie survives the disease. Her mother was anxiously by her side, but Leonie was very lucky. She survived without permanent consequences. Birgitte, who was going through the most difficult time of her life, could finally breathe easy. Although Leonie was in the hospital often over the next two years with infections because her immune system was still weak, the family was very lucky and grateful for this miracle. Leonie is now a young woman and can lead a completely normal life.

Meningococcal education

It is the desire of Birgitte’s heart to educate all parents and grandparents on the subject. “Please familiarize yourself with this disease, ask your pediatrician, ask your health insurance company and try to spare your children,” she advises.

There are now different vaccines for the best possible protection against meningococci. Meningococcal diseases in Germany are most often caused by group B, followed by Y and C. (2) The standard group C vaccination is taken by all health insurance companies as a mandatory service. (3) However, this cannot protect against other meningococcal groups. This is why many health insurance companies reimburse part or even all of the costs of meningococcal B vaccination and ACWY vaccination in general or as a travel immunization on demand. Parents should seek advice from their pediatrician about protection against meningococcus as soon as possible.

More information at

NP-DE-MNU-PRSR-230012; 06/2


(1) BZgA: “Meningococcal pathogens.” Available at: July 2023.

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(2) RKI: “Annual Infection Epidemiology of Reportable Diseases 2019.” Available at: July 2023.

(3) RKI: “Epidemiological Bulletin 04/2023.” Available at: July 2023.

Media communication:

Ronald Voigt, Complementary Operator on behalf of GSK Communications Manager Vaccines Tel: +49 171 532 2624 Email: [email protected] GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG KG, Prinzregentenplatz 9, 81675 Munich

Sophie Klünemann, agency contact (additional information and comprehensive photos) tel.: +49 221 92 57 38 40, e-mail: [email protected] Borchert & Schrader PR GmbH, Antwerpener Straße 6-12, 50672 Cologne

Original content from: GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG, transmitted by aktuell news

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