HSE investigate death of Galway man from meningitis

Public advised to seek medical advice with any concerns

THE death of a young Galway man from meningococcal disease (meningitis) is being investigated by the Department of Public Health in the HSE West.

Concerns were raised last week when the man became ill, and the health authority was notified of the case. Sadly, the young man, who is understood to be from the North East of the county, subsequently died.

Close contacts identified by Public Health have been contacted and offered treatment in accordance with national guidance. The HSE has offered its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

The HSE West says that person-to-person spread of meningococcal disease is very unusual, especially with others who are not a household or physically close personal contact.

“While the risk to the wider community is considered low, we do want the general public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this disease,” Public Health HSE West stated

Yesterday (Wednesday) the HSE said it was investigating four cases of meningitis in different parts of the country The cases have no known links with each other.

Meningitis is a serious illness involving inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by a variety of different germs, mainly bacteria and viruses. Bacterial meningitis is less common but usually more serious than viral meningitis and requires urgent treatment with antibiotics

Bacterial meningitis may be accompanied by septicaemia (blood poisoning). The bacteria live naturally in the nose and throat of normal healthy persons without causing illness. The spread of the bacteria is caused by droplets from the nose and mouth. The illness occurs most frequently in young children and adolescents, usually as isolated cases.

Bacterial meningitis or septicaemia requires urgent antibiotic treatment. “We advise that if anyone has concerns, they should contact their GP immediately and ensure that medical expertise is sought,” the HSE advised.

Signs and symptoms may include:

Severe Headaches




Discomfort from bright light

Neck stiffness


A rash may appear (pin-prick type marks which if untreated can spread to form bruises or blood blisters). DO NOT WAIT FOR A RASH. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.