Detection and response to a meningococcal disease outbreak following a youth football tournament with teams from four European countries

Ralf Reintjes*, Thomas Kistemann, Laura MacLehose, Martin McKee, Noel Gill, Julius Weinberg, Oliver Schaefer, Ivonne Camaroni, Naomi Fulop, Helmut Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


An outbreak of meningococcal disease, caused by Neisseria meningitidis, occurred following an international youth football tournament in the summer of 1997, affecting individuals from four European countries. This paper describes the outbreak, focusing on international co-operation in detection, investigation, control and follow-up, identifying weaknesses and exploring opportunities for improved co-operation. Data came from interviews, reports and related documents. The detection and management of the outbreak in each country is analysed. Eleven cases were linked to this outbreak and serotyped as C: 2a: P1.5. Control measures varied in each country, reflecting different national guidelines. The outbreak illustrated deficiencies in management of international outbreaks but also demonstrated benefits of international co-operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • International youth football tournament
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Outbreak response

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