MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE ALERT!
Do you have toddlers 12 months - < 5yrs OR Teens aged 15-19 years?
Then visit your GP to discuss the free government Meningococcal disease A,C,W,Y vaccination available for these age groups.
NB- The free Meningococcal ACWY vaccination program for children < 5 yrs and teens 15-19 yrs has been extended to 31 December 2019. So hurry, don't let your littles one miss out!
We have seen an increased number of cases of Meningococcal infection in recent times and sadly some have resulted in death. It is an uncommon disease but can be a life-threatening illness if treatment delayed. Long term disability can result such as loss of a limb or neurological damage.
Quick FACTS about Meningococcal disease:
Meningococcal bacteria are spread by respiratory secretions (coughing/sneezing/kissing)
Not easily spread by sharing food or drinks
Takes 3-4 days to develop but can take as long as 10 days
Disease most likely to spread only to very close contacts such as people of the same household, sexual contacts and children attending the same day care for more than 4 continuous hours
Symptoms in BABIES include : fever, rapid breathing/panting, vomiting/difficulty feeding, irritability, lethargy (extreme tiredness) or difficult to wake and unusual crying or moaning
OLDER CHILDREN/ADULTS : Fever, headaches, vomiting/diarrhoea, neck stiffness, muscle/joint pains and drowsiness/confusion. Sometimes can be accompanied by spotty red-purple rash beneath the skin
Diagnosis can be difficult at the start of the illness. NB: If you are sent home by the Dr or hospital: Monitor symptoms and return promptly for further checks if symptoms get worse
Early antibiotic treatment in hospital is essential for anyone with meningococcal disease. The earlier the treatment is started the more likely you are to make a full recovery.
Can affect any age group, however some of the highest rates of the illness occur among adolescents.
SO IF YOU NOTICE PERSISTENT SYMPTOMS OF THIS NATURE ON YOUR LOVED ONE, DO NOT HESITATE TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY!