Meningococcal cases 12 January 2024

Earlier this week, a 10-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for treatment and a 62-year-old woman was admitted to ICU, after being diagnosed with unrelated cases of invasive meningococcal disease identified as serotype B and serogroup Y respectively. The child has subsequently recovered and has been discharged home and the woman has left ICU but remains hospitalised.

SA Health has identified multiple people who have come in contact with the patients, who are both from metropolitan Adelaide, and 14 people have been directed to receive clearance antibiotics to prevent further transmission.

Meningococcal case breakdown:

Table name

Year-to-date count20
Annual count221
Serogroup B117
Serogroup W03
Serogroup Y11

Symptoms and signs of meningococcal disease can include headache, fever, vomiting, neck stiffness, and discomfort when looking at lights. A skin rash may occur, with tiny red or purple spots that soon spread and enlarge to look like fresh bruises. At later stages of the illness, people may develop confusion and shock. The disease can progress very rapidly and medical care should be urgently sought.

In addition, children may be fretful, difficult to wake and refuse to eat. They may have leg pain, cold hands and feet, and a high-pitched or moaning cry. Children may also have pale, blotchy or abnormally coloured skin.

Vaccines are available to protect against a number of types of meningococcal disease. In South Australia, under national and state funded programs, the meningococcal B vaccine is available and free for infants at six weeks, four months, and 12 months and for adolescents in Year 10. The ACWY vaccine is available and free for infants at 12 months and in adolescents in Year 10.

As vaccines do not protect against all types of meningococcal disease, vaccinated people must still be alert for the symptoms of meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal health information has also been provided to the contacts in accordance with the Invasive Meningococcal Disease Communicable Diseases Network Australia: National Guidelines for Public Health Units.

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