26 September 2023

Community warned of Meningococcal danger

Start the conversation

NSW Health is urging the community to be on alert for symptoms of meningococcal disease and act immediately if they appear after the notification of three recent cases.

Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health, Dr Christine Selvey said that sadly, a person in their fifties from Sydney had died from meningococcal disease and a further two cases had been detected in a person in their late teens who’d been living in Sydney, and a person in their sixties from the Central Coast.

Dr Selvey said meningococcal disease is a rare but serious and sometimes fatal infection, with babies, toddlers, adolescents, and young adults at highest risk.

“While vaccination of these age groups has reduced the number of infections each year, the vaccines do not protect against all strains of meningococcal bacteria and people of all ages can be infected,” Dr Selvey said.

“All people should be aware of symptoms so they can act fast,” she said.

“Meningococcal disease can be very serious, but early treatment is life-saving so it is important that symptoms are recognised early.

“We are urging the NSW community to be vigilant for symptoms, even if they have been vaccinated, and to seek medical assistance early if they are concerned.”

Dr Selvey said meningococcal disease could be fatal within hours if left untreated and knowing the symptoms could help prevent premature death or life-long disability.

She said symptoms included sudden onset of fever; headache; neck stiffness; tiredness; joint or limb pain; dislike of bright lights; nausea and vomiting; high-pitched crying in babies; and a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, which may appear after the other symptoms or late in the disease progression.

“If symptoms rapidly worsen, call Triple Zero (000) or go straight to your nearest emergency department, do not delay,” Dr Selvey said.

Further information on meningococcal disease can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.