New meningitis scare

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Another British child was last night feared to have contracted meningitis in Majorca, the fifth to have fallen victim to the disease while holidaying on the Spanish island.

The six-year-old girl, who has not yet been named, may only have a cold, but was put under observation in Palma's Son Doreta hospital where five-year-old Michaela Leyland is being treated for the disease.

Majorca's director general of health, Dr Gines Martina Pina, said Michaela was stable. Her family, from Merseyside, were on a package holiday with friends at the resort of Magaluf when she became the fourth child to be struck down.

Last Monday Christopher Richards, 13, from Middleton-on-Sea, West Sussex, died after contracting meningitis at the Alcudia Pins appartment complex on the north coast. Dr Pina said the six-year-old was staying with her parents in the resort of Cala Millor when they became worried about her and took her to a doctor.

He repeated his controversial view that British tourists had imported the disease. ''Our health authorities are becoming increasingly convinced that this is the case,'' he said.