26 September 2023

Meningococcal disease settling into Victoria?

Start the conversation

Victorians are being urged to look out for the symptoms of meningococcal disease with seven cases recorded in the State this year.

Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton said that as of 8 June, there had been seven total cases of meningococcal disease, including two deaths, reported in Victoria this year.

Dr Sutton said cases had ranged from an infant aged one year to an elderly person in their 90s, but most cases were aged between 15 to 20 years old.

“Meningococcal disease is an uncommon but serious illness caused by infection with meningococcal bacteria,” Dr Sutton said.

“People with meningococcal disease can become very unwell within a few hours and it can lead to death or disability,” he said.

“Early diagnosis and treatment are critical.”

Dr Sutton said the disease could spread from person-to-person through close, prolonged or intimate contact, such as between household members and intimate partners and was not easily spread by sharing drinks or food.

He said it was recommended not to share e-cigarettes (vapes) or cigarettes.

“Symptoms of meningococcal disease can include fever, chills, feeling generally unwell, headache, neck stiffness, light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, rash of red-purple spots or bruises, joint or muscle pains, confusion, and reduced consciousness,” the Chief health Officer said.

“In infants and young children, symptoms can also include being irritable or unsettled, high-pitched crying, reduced feeding, pale or blotchy skin, tiredness and drowsiness.”

Dr Sutton said anyone who developed symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek urgent medical care, and advised people to stay up to date with their vaccinations.

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.