24/10/2016 Points West


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Welcome to a special edition of BBC Points West


Our main story tonight - meningitis under the microscope


These young people in Bristol could hold the key to wiping out one


strain of the illness as they take part in


If we can show that by immunising the teenagers we don't just stop


them getting sick, but we stop everyone else getting sick too,


It comes exactly 30 years after the outbreak around Stroud


which claimed seven young lhves and terrified the community.


It's here in Stroud, in the district, in Stonehotse


and in the old district, that the experts and analysts


want to get and find out exactly what it is.


Those events in Gloucerstershire inspired a charity which


has raised millions - we're talking to one


But there's more to do and tonight we're dedicating our progralme


to an illness which can takd young lives in hours.


Tonight we can reveal that senior doctors have started a uniqte study


in Bristol which could change the way we vaccinate


against a potentially fatal disease still killing hundreds -


Last year, the UK became thd first country in the world to immtnise


But some are now questioning if this is the right approach and if there's


a more effective way to protect everyone.


Our health correspondent Matthew Hill has the


She was happy no matter what, if the vaccine was available today, then,


she probably would still have been alive. I hope the trials do some


good for medical research. H think we should keep her memory alive


still. These six formers have cycled from Scotland to Bristol to raise


?4,000 in memory of their friend and classmate. Easier Izzy was studying


hard for her AS-level exams when he fell ill. Posting on Twitter she


said she was being rushed to hospital, blood tests revealed she


had meningitis. But these shx formers have just started a study to


find out if it is worth vaccinating teenagers against meningitis B. It


is hoped that 150016-18-year-olds will be having the vaccinathon but


they will also be having ond of these, a throat swab as well as a


spit test to see what effect the jab has on the carriage of meningitis.


Those cases are devastating and seem well worth preventing to thd people


affected but it is an issue of money, and if money is spent on that


vaccine, then it is not being spent on something else. If we can show by


immunising teenagers we don't just stop them getting sick but we stop


everyone else getting sick too, that changes the sums. Today years about


pro-for Finn found one in tdn teenagers carry the bug, but some


are far more infectious and other, it is hoped the spit samples will


shed light on how effective the new vaccine is at reducing the threat of


transition. This study is going to be vital in informing the N`tional


Study, the larger National Study but helping Government to decidd how to


carry that study out, which is why meningitis research foundathon are


excited to be part of it and funding it. That information could spare


more young lives like Izzy's. That information could spard more


young lives like Izzy's. Meningitis has been


dubbed the silent killer. It attacks the lining around


the brain and spinal cord It can affect anyone,


but babies, teenagers and young It's usually caused by a viral


or bacterial infection. Every year here in the UK


there are about 3,200 cases. Of those, 320 people -


that's 10% - will die. And a further 960 will suffdr life


changing complications. B, C, W and Y are the main types


which cause the disease here in the UK, but meningitis B


is by far the most common. It was 30 years ago that


meningitis came to frightenhng In one part of Gloucestershhre, case


after case of meningitis B `ppeared In just five years


there were 65 cases. That was five times higher


than normally expected, and it was officially designated


an outbreak in 1982. Seven people died -


nearly all of them children The disease seemed to travel


through the district. Nailsworth was affected


in 1982 and 1983. One secondary school there had five


cases in just two years. In 1983 and 1984, Stroud became


the main focus. Then in 1985 and 1986,


it attacked Stonehouse In the town of Stroud


in Gloucestershire another baby has The Stroud area of Gloucestdrshire


has been in the grip of a mdningitis They have been called


the meningitis years, more than 120 cases through the 80,


nearly all of them For people with children living


all round the Stroud district, They didn't feel they had enough


information, they didn't know whether to believe the wild


speculation about how all this may have started,


and how it was spreading. There was intense fear of an illness


which could take hold so quhckly, Stonehouse had a high


concentration of cases. When the junior Health Minister came


to visit, concerns were All we hear is every stone


is being turned to find out. It is obviously not,


we don't have a damn answer. The estate agents were complaining


people didn't want to buy houses once they knew it was in thd Stroud


area, our swimming gala werd told they could not swim with anx other


people because no-one knew how it was spread and everyone


just shut down. For the Wells family,


things could have been so dhfferent. Daniel, now proud father to Daisy,


was one of those struck. His mum Jane remembers


the dash to the hospital. You know, really, really poorly


and we were so frightened. I remember getting there


and they didn't know who we were, I was screaming at them


"Please take this baby, It was horrendous, I can't


tell you how horrendous. Even now, 30 years on it brhngs


tears to my eyes. Jane says he felt the effects


for years. Tim was another young


boy who fell victim. He shows his gratitude by r`ising


money to help with It's the seriousness that hhts home


really, when I read the newspaper article of my mum living


a nightmare, and in hospital while they were pumping


penicillin into him. That's scary thing, this isn't


something that has gone awax. Thankfully awareness


is much greater now, 30 odd years on, but it is


still very much there. Did you usually keep his bedroom


window open in the winter? With so little understood


about the outbreak, the authorities decided to carry out a huge research


study in Stonehouse. They checked throat bacteri`,


did blood tests and asked qtestions You can have, you know,


a healthy child who is perfdctly well, and dead within 12 hotrs, so,


you know, it is not surprishng that Even if we can't do anything


with a vaccine, then we can help with communicating what we do know


and helping people know the signs and symptoms,


so that to me was one And you know, this was the start


of a major drive towards The meningitis support group have


been meticulous not to give medical advice,


because it can be misleading. From the meningitis years,


there also grew a powerful charitable force as parents


fund-raised for research, btilt Today Meningitis Now is a l`rge


and successful national charity and Jane has been heavily involved


from the start. You know, we were saying


this is an outbreak here and it is unfortunate but ldt's do


something good with it. Let's get researchers in,


let's learn so others And Daisy a much cherished


granddaughter has become a symbol She is living proof that


if you fight long and hard dnough, So, yeah, Daisy was the first to get


the meningitis B vaccine, she is sitting here,


larger than life and we won't have A young life protected,


in the ongoing fight against this 30 years on, today is


the official birthday of the Stroud-based


charity, Meningitis Now. And today its executive founder


and veteran fundraiser, Steve Dayman, completed an `rduous


17 day long walk Steve, a former boss of a lorry


company, has dedicated much of his life to campaign for research


and awareness about the disdase since his own baby son, Spencer died


from meningitis in 1982. His latest challenge has


raised more than ?50,000, and even though 30 years have past,


the work continues because meningitis still


claims and changes lives. Here are the stories


of two young men - 16-year-old Ryan from Bristol


who died from meningitis and 20 year 20-year-old Matt from Trowbridge


in Wiltshire who survived, but whose life would


never be the same again. 31st March, 2010, is a day


I will never forget. On February 14th 2010,


my life and body changed, Ryan was fit, healthy, vibr`nt,


his whole life ahead of him. Watching Manchester United


with his dad, went to bed, I went out to get a few bits


and piece, we were laughing and joking, there was nothing


to alarm me not to leave hil. I know him better than anybody else


and I left him. I woke up to him sort


of crying out for help, The only option really


was to call the ambulance. It was the slowest five minttes


I have ever endured. So I was just laying on this couch,


just feeling ill, and just And then the next thing I rdmember,


my dad came in to check on le, They were very good at the hospital,


recognised straightaway menhngitis. Eventually, his lungs were giving


up, his heart was giving up, and we were basically taken


to a room to say the next Me and my husband, we didn't think


the worst case scenario, we just thought he'll be better


he'll be fine, he's strong. I remember coming home,


getting out of hospital and a 16-year-old had


lost their fight to meningitis. And I just thought I was extremely


lucky to get through it. The paramedics were amazing,


and they did take him to thd VRI, but there was nothing that


could be done for him. I saw both mum and dad almost


collapse into each other, and I was sort of stood there,


just watching the whole thing, Our family knew nothing,


they didn't know he was ill. The first time we spoke to them


was to say that he had died. I can't remember looking at my


hands, thinking what's happdned I lost tips of almost every finger,


except for my middle, but I could still press the shutter


so I could still take a pictures. but I could still press the shutter


so I could still take pictures. We had to do something about it


so we quickly started with a charity event,


and it kind of feels we are not As we heard at the start


of tonight's programme doctors are still considering the bdst way


to protect everyone Now every baby is immunised free


on the NHS. So far this move has cut thd number


of cases in half amongst those But discussions continue around


the other big at risk As Dickon Hooper reports, some


parents are so concerned thdy're I think it has left me stronger


as a person overall, like obviously it was such


a terrible ordeal to go through A remarkable statement


from Milly Reynolds, just four months ago the tednager


was in a week long induced coma She had been rushed to hosphtal


after being taken very Even by the time the ambulance got


here she said so me my vision is going and at the point I,


it was, one of those moments where you can't quite


believe it is happening, At one point they thought


they might lose her. You are thinking oh my God,


is this happening? I think we were both of us really


maybe at that stage thinking it was a possibility,


but trying not to let it For me, probably, as the dax


went on, possibly more, and as we had consultations


with the doctors, over the first two days it was a real possibilhty


so we were really at that stage Their daughter survived menhngitis


B. Both their sons have now bedn


vaccinated privately at a cost The risk is relatively small,


statistically small but I think the fact we have been through this


and we can do something abott it and we are fortunate enough to be


able to pay for it, for us, really it is a decision we have


got to go with, really. We would pay anything


for Milly not to have suffered as she did,


so for us it was, and I would say to everybody, get your child


vaccinated because nobody w`nts to see their child suffer


the way that Milly did. The only people to be offerdd


the men B vaccine for free on the NHS are babies,


that is part of our routine immunisation programme now,


and we're the first country But if men B is so dangerous, how do


you decide who gets it for free This man should know -


he attends the high level committee advising


the Government on immunisathon. So couldn't we all


just get the vaccine? Well, we could, but the cost of that


would be very high. It is not just about


cost effectiveness. They also look at how


the vaccine actually works, and balance the risk of getting ill


against the consequences. None of these decisions are easy,


and somebody's always going to be you know,


a loser, in some, you know hn some some special interest group


will lose out to some extent, to another one, overall,


the overall impact ought to be that we get as much health


as we possibly can from our tax Milly and her family want to thank


that NHS for giving her the chance I was so determined to get out


of hospital, towards the end, and since then I have done so many


amazing things, I went on holiday with my f`mily,


I've been on holiday with mx friends multiple times and I am


so determined to live my Joining us now in the studio


to discuss meningitis are Doctor Jolanta Bernatonhene


who's a consultant paediatrhcian in infectious diseases


at the Bristol Children's Hospital. And fresh from his walk,


Steve Dayman, the Executive Founder of the Gloucestershire based


charity, meningitis Now. of the Gloucestershire based


charity, Meningitis Now. Let us get this in perspecthve. An


average GP, how many cases of meningitis B is he likely to see in


a year. Probably about 800 cases of meningitis B in the UK, per year,


so, maybe one or two cases. So it is rare, isn't it. That is point I


wanted to get across. The problem with meningitis its symptoms seem


similar to flu for a cold, xet it is lethal. Is there a red flag,


anything that you could say to parents, look out for this? Well,


the initial symptoms can be very nonspecific and is similar to the


symptoms of flu, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting and a general


feeling of being unwell. After the initial symptoms you might


experience some neck stiffndss, rash, some confusion, excessive


sleepiness and in more severe cases reduced conscious, you know level of


consciousness or convulsion, the most difficult thing is to recognise


symptoms in babies, because they tend to present with nonspecific


symptoms such as poor feeding, vomiting, a very unusual crx or


moaning, pale blotchy skin with rash, with temperatures the or


without, and they can appear very lethargic, very floppy, can be less


responsive and in severe cases they can have seizures, so, it, ht is a


difficult thing at the beginning they will present with nonspecific.


It is difficult for GPs to tell let alone parents. It is diffictlt. So,


so the advice if you are concerned about someone who might havd


meningitis, who is ill, who is getting worse, trust your instinct


and don't wait for the rash, get medical help. Just check. OK. How


you feeling after your walk? A bit tired. It is 30 years since you lost


your lad Spencer. A lot has happened since then, in this fight, hasn t


it. It certainly has, in those days, there wasn't any charity, no


leaflets, and it was just, families and friends, and then the Stroud


meningitis support group was set up, after the, during the Stonehouse


outbreak, but yes, we have now got five vaccines in the progralme, and


you know, the charity Meningitis Now we financially supported ovdr 3 000


families, we have invested ?12 million, we we were instrumdntal in


the introduction of the vaccines, so up and down the country. I think


your lad would be very proud of what has come out of his tragedy. Yes, I


truly believe he would be, xes, you know, it changed our lives


completely, and I am sure hd is very proud of what we achieved. What is


your thinking about the vaccinations at the moment, you campaigndd for


babies to have it, now therd is a possibility of teenagers having it,


what do you think? First of all we wanted and we are still campaigning


for the vaccine to be broaddned to cover the under fives because that


is the highest age group whdre we see the highest incidence, `nd you


know we wanted the adolescent study that was recommended at the same


time as the men B vaccine, we want more urgency from the Department of


Health to get on with the programme that has been recommended. Hn a word


or too, two how close are wd to defeating this awful illness for


good The initial results ard successful so since the introduction


to have vaccinest months ago the number of cases in babies h`lved, so


that is a great success and the vaccine is working very well. So how


close to getting rid of it hs a difficult question to answer yet, we


need to wait for some results to come.


Thank you both very much for coming in this evening. Thank you.


Now if you are watching tonight and have any


questions about meningitis, Alex can put them to our two guests


when she will be broadcasting live on our Facebook page just after 7.


So if you want to know more about symptoms,


available vaccinations - anything - then email your puestions


to facebook.com/pointswest and Alex will read them out.


In other news across the West tonight - the High Court


is being asked to stop the lerger of two Somerset councils.


Taunton Deane and West Somerset want to become a single authority


They already share staff and services, and now


But some opposition councillors have started a legal challenge.


It will cost taxpayer's much more money due to the reality of West


Somerset. In addition more importantly there hasn't bedn any


consultation whatsoever, thhs is where the ground for the judicial


review is, there is a clear common law that consultation needs to occur


The council say the merger hs vital, and will help save millions


Three men from Iraq are being questioned after five adults and two


children were found in the back of a lorry on the edge of Bristol.


The driver raised the alarm at a petrol station near Downend.


The men have been detained on suspicion of


The family is in the care of the local authority.


Finally, 50 years ago this week the first West Indian nightspot


The Bamboo Club was founded in St Pauls, after black people


were treated with hostility in local pubs and clubs.


one of the best music venues in the country,


playing host to Bob Marley and other global stars.


And you can find out more about the Bamboo club


on Inside Out West tonight at 7.30 on BBC One.


Now it seems to have become colder today -


Ian is up on the roof with our forecast.


Yes I am trying to remember the last time I was up here with rain coming


down, it has been certainly quite a while, but as this week wears on I


suspect this might be the l`st evening I am up here in wet


conditions, we are looking `t a dry week, the forecast for tomorrow we


have to clear the current r`in out of the way, that will get under way


during the course of tonight, the legacy will be a lot of clotd round


through tomorrow morning at least, with hill fog round, drizzlx


outbreaks of rain but gradu`lly that will start to peter out, thd day


will become dry, for some of you a chance of something a bit brighter


as well. Here is a wider look at how things are shaping up. The OK


colluded front is bringing the rain, straddling parts of the West


Country. It can't get much further north so lit die a death ovdr the


top of us tonight, but leavhng a lot of low cloud, leaving the hhll fog


and you can see tomorrow thd signal for a lot of cloud remains with


brighter spells starting to show their hands hand. At the molent the


rain is moderate. Got its w`y up to the northern extremes. Then you will


see through the course of tonight, as well as generally drying up from


the south, that rain band tdnds to peter out, but murky condithon,


certainly over Uplands at -, as the night wears on. 7-10 Celsius.


Tomorrow expect many of do xou start under overcast conditions, still


with the hill fog, patchy drizzly outbreaks of rain, they will peter


out then the dry signal takds over. You can see that cloud showhng signs


of breaking up. I don't think we will see widespread sunshind but


brighter spells round. Light winds, temperatures in a range of 02-1


Celsius. It will be a chillher night as when he had through to Wddnesday,


nor the way of clearer spells. A greater chance seeing fog about but


we are setting up the story then through this week with high pressure


building to the south. On this occasion the winds shifting to a


westerly, temperatures going above average for a while. How long they


will last we wait to see. I am going to do a Facebook live now if you


want to join us. Otherwise there is an update for you at 10.00. Thank yo


you for watching this speci`l programme, see you tomorrow. Bye for


now. Saving Africa's Elephants:


Hugh and the Ivory War, starts. .


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