New meningitis scare

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The Independent Online
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.

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