Another case of Meningococcal disease has been reported by the Department of Health today, the sixth case in WA in the past month.
A middle-aged adult was diagnosed with serogroup Y meningococcal disease and is recovering in hospital.
Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain, and occasionally of other sites, such as the throat or large joints.
Infection can occur at any age, however it is most common in babies, young children, older teenagers and young adults.
There is an increased risk of Meningococcal disease during the winter and spring months.
Symptoms may include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pains. Young children may not complain of symptoms, so fever, pale or blotchy complexion, vomiting, lethargy (blank staring, floppiness, inactivity, being hard to wake, or poor feeding) and rash are important signs.
A spotty red-purple rash that looks like small bleeding points beneath the skin or bruises may also be present, but not always.
Meningococcal infection is treatable with antibiotics but can progress very rapidly. Seek medical attention quickly if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms.
Details of where 15-19 year-olds can access a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine are available at: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/J_M/Meningococcal-vaccine