Recent cases of meningococcal disease are a timely reminder to know the symptoms and seek medical advice quickly if you suspect meningococcal.
Meningococcal disease is very uncommon in NSW and it is not easily spread from person to person but it is important to act fast if symptoms do present.
Up to 10 per cent of people with meningococcal disease die, even with rapid treatment and up to 20 per cent may end up with significant long term effects.
Children 0-5 and young adults aged 15-24 are most at risk.
Symptoms of meningococcal disease may include sudden onset of fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, dislike of bright lights nausea and vomiting.
People infected with meningecoccal disease can become extremely unwell very quickly, often within hours of the first symptoms appearing – so act fast.
If you think you or someone you know could have meningococcal disease, seek urgent medical advice.
The NSW Government has invested $17 million in the Meningococcal W Response Program since 2017. The vaccine was offered free to students in Year 11 and Year 12 in 2017 and to students in Years 10 and 11 in 2018, and will be extended to students in Year 10 in 2019.
More than 200,000 teenagers have been vaccinated with the meningococcal ACWY vaccine already.
Young people aged 15 to 19 years who did not receive the vaccine at school are able to receive it for free from their GP until the end of this year. Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is also given to children aged 12 months under the national schedule.
Visit the NSW Health website to learn more.