26 September 2023

Health warns of disease to party goers

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NSW Health is urging people who attended Splendour in the Grass festival last month (21-24 July) to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and to act immediately if they appear.

The alert follows the notification of two cases of meningococcal disease in people who attended the event in the North Byron Parklands.

Executive Director of Health Protection NSW, Dr Jeremy McAnulty said there had been 15 cases of meningococcal disease reported in NSW so far this year.

“Early intervention can be lifesaving,” Dr McAnulty said.

“Onset of meningococcal disease symptoms can appear suddenly and become very serious very quickly,” he said.

“If you suspect meningococcal disease, don’t wait for the rash – see a doctor immediately.”

Dr McAnulty said meningococcal disease could be fatal within hours if left untreated.

He said people who attended Splendour in the Grass, as well as parents and young people, should be on the look out for severe, unexplained limb pain, difficulty waking up, high pitched crying in babies, severe headache, upset by bright lights, stiff neck, and a red-purple rash which didn’t disappear when pressed with a glass.

“Knowing the symptoms could help prevent premature death or life-long disability,” the doctor said.

“While it is a well-known symptom of meningococcal disease, the rash does not always occur, or may present late in the illness,” he said.

“If symptoms rapidly worsen, or if your child is very unwell, call Triple Zero (000) or go straight to your nearest emergency department.”

Dr McAnulty said vaccination was the best way for people to protect themselves, their loved ones and community from the harmful effects of meningococcal disease.

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

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