Meningococcal disease case in Devonport

A Devonport woman in her 30s has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease and is in a stable condition in the Mersey Community Hospital where she was admitted on Sunday.

Public Health Services has arranged clearance antibiotics for the woman’s closest contacts to minimise the risk of further infection and will also provide immunisation.

This is the fourth case of meningococcal disease in Tasmania in 2019: it is the second case of W strain – the other two cases were B strain.

A free meningococcal ACWY vaccine is still available from GPs for Tasmanians aged between six weeks and 21 years and everyone in this age bracket is strongly advised to get vaccinated.

This program started last year in response to a community outbreak of meningococcal W disease in the northern suburbs of Hobart, and the high statewide rate for two years.

Meningococcal B vaccine for infants and young children, adolescents and young adults living close together can be purchased and provided by your GP.

People with meningococcal disease can go from feeling well to extremely unwell very quickly.

Symptoms include fever, severe aches and pains, headache, drowsiness and confusion. Infants can be distressed, limp, pale and feed poorly.

If you or your child has seen a doctor with symptoms like these but get worse, go back to your doctor or to the nearest emergency department – don’t wait.

Visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/menw for more information.

4 July 2019