There have recently been a number of meningococcal cases reported across Australia. The peak time for infection is July to September.
With cases of meningococcal on the rise across Australia, The Light for Riley Facebook page shared some important facts for parents to remember.
“The main cause of meningococcal in Australia are the B and C strains, and while a vaccine for the C strain is funded for children, the B strain vaccine is only available on the private market, and is in short supply at the moment.
It’s really important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease, and to seek medical advice if you suspect someone is infected.”
The signs to look out for are: (via Meningococcal Australia)
• lack of energy
• irritability or agitation
• a sore throat
Other symptoms include
•stiff or painful neck
•sensitivity to light
•twitching or convulsions
The distinctive meningococcal rash (indicating bleeding into the skin) can be a critical symptom of deadly septicaemia, along with a high fever.
The rash may start with a simple spot or blister anywhere on the body, then may progress quickly to red pinpricks like small mosquito bites, and/or spread quickly into purple bruise like blotches. It’s important not to wait until a rash appears before seeking treatment, as the meningococcal rash signifies a critical stage of the disease.
Latest case of meningococcal
A 15yr old SA schoolgirl from Blackwood High is the latest person to contract the dangerous meningococcal disease.
School officials immediately alerted families on Wednesday after SA Health confirmed the Year 9 student had contracted the highly contagious infection.
It is understood the teenager was admitted to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Saturday.
SA Health has also urged members of the Unley Jets Football Club not to panic after two young adult players were diagnosed with meningococcal disease.
Last month NSW Health authorities are warning of a statewide meningococcal outbreak, after a spike in influenza cases in Western Sydney.
Three cases of meningococcal disease have also been diagnosed in Tasmania this year, with the most recent case confirmed last week.
NSW Health Director, Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said late winter/early spring was the season when meningococcal disease tended to be most prevalent, although cases presented all year round.
“It is also important to note that not all of the symptoms of meningococcal disease may be present at once,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“If anyone suspects meningococcal disease, they should see a doctor immediately and return if symptoms worsen.”
Please be aware of the symptoms.
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