Baby is struck down with meningococcal and is fighting for life in hospital
Infant is rushed to hospital with meningococcal W and is fighting for life
The infant is the fifth person in the Norther Territory to contract disease this year
The Northern Territory offered free vaccine for children after 2018 outbreak
An infant was rushed to the Royal Darwin Hospital in a critical condition after contracting the meningococcal disease.
It brings the total number of meningococcal infections for the Northern Territory this year to five, with the last four cases being recorded as the W strain.
The infant’s case was also confirmed to be the W strain, the most common in the Northern Territory, NT News reported.
Those cases occurred in both the Top End and Central Australia and in both adults and children and were not connected, a Department of Health statement said.
‘All close contacts of the child had been contacted and provided with clearance antibiotics to prevent further transmission of the infection’, the department said.
Darwin woman Mary-Ellen Hurley, 34, died from meningococcal disease on New Year’s Eve hours after presenting at Palmerston hospital’s emergency department.
The Centre for Disease Control acting director Dr Rosalind Webby urged people to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease.
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is available free for all people aged 1-19 years in the NT.
CDC acting director Dr Rosalind Webby reminded people to be especially aware of the early signs of meningococcal W.
‘Symptoms may include fever, drowsiness, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and the dislike of bright lights,’ Dr Webby told the publication.
‘A widespread rash may develop that can look like red/purple spots or bruises and infants and babies may also refuse food and drink and have a high-pitched cry. If concerned please seek medical advice early.’
According to the Department of Health the most common strains of meningococcal are B, C, W and Y. There are vaccines available to protect against these types in Australia.
Source:: Daily Times