Fifth Life Claimed By Meningococcal W Disease
A West Australian woman has died after contracting meningococcal disease.
The woman, believed to be aged in her 20s, is the fifth victim of the serogroup W type of meningococcal in WA this year.
So far this year there have been 40 cases of the disease, up from 23 in 2016, with a spike in the number of W and Y strains well above the long-term average of less than one case per year.
So far, there have been 40 diagnosed cases of the various strains compared to 23 last year.
Last month, a young child died from meningococcal and two others were diagnosed with the disease around the same time.
A free vaccination program for people aged 15 to 19 is being offered in WA, Tasmania, NSW, Queensland, and Victoria in 2017 and 2018.
Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection. It causes the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- General poor feeling
- Sudden high fever
- Severe, persistent headache
- Neck stiffness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Discomfort in bright lights
- Drowsiness or difficulty awakening
- Joint pain
- Confusion or other mental changes
According to WEBMD, a reddish or purple skin rash is a very important sign to watch for. If it does not turn white when you press a glass against it the rash may be a sign of blood poisoning. This is a medical emergency.
For more information, head to health.qld.gov.au