Northlands District Health Card warns young people and parents about looking for signs or symptoms of meningococci, even if the…
Northlands District Health Card warns young people and parents about looking for signs or symptoms of meningococci, even if the child has previously been vaccinated.
Dr. Simon Baker says that children who have previously received meningococcal vaccination can still get the disease because the vaccine does not protect against any type of disease.
This comes after a 16-year-old boy from Kerikeri died of suspected meningococcal disease in Auckland Hospital on Saturday. He had been among 190 people attending a St John youth camp on Motutapu Island in Hauraki Bay.
“This is very tragic for the family of the young who died and for everyone in the camp,” said Dr. Baker.
The children returned to Auckland from the camp in the afternoon.
DHB says the Auckland Regional Public Health Service went to Motutapu to provide protective antibiotics and assess the risk to others, but only a few people were considered to be “close contacts” and risk of infection.
DHB says that Northland Public Health Careers have talked to the family about who might otherwise have been at risk during the previous seven days where the young man was infectious. Those who were in close contact with the young man have had antibiotics.
“Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal disease and can be difficult to diagnose, so we provide information to young people and parents so they can pay attention to symptoms,” says Baker.
“It may look like flu early but quickly gets much worse. It’s important to get early treatment.”
Symptoms included some or all of the following: fever; headache; vomiting; feeling sleepy, confused and delirious; loss of conscious joint pain; aching muscles; stiff neck; does not dislike bright light; or rashes, purple or red spots or bruises.
Dr. Baker said, “If you or someone you know has these symptoms, do not wait.”
People should call Healthline on 0800 61
1 116 or visit a doctor. If they are concerned.