Meningococcal case on Coast as deadly diseases sweep south-east

CONFIRMED: Meningococcal has been confirmed on the Sunshine Coast.
CONFIRMED: Meningococcal has been confirmed on the Sunshine Coast.

THE Sunshine Coast is the latest in a series of south-east Queensland cities to be infected with rare and deadly diseases after a case of meningococcal was confirmed.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service public health physician Dr Andrew Langley said a case of meningococcal type-Y was diagnosed in the region last week.

So far this year there have been four cases of the rare, but severe infection, within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service region and 56 cases in total throughout Queensland.

"As is standard practice, anyone who was in close contact with the case was identified by public health staff, with appropriate measures taken to prevent further disease," Dr Langley said.

"Preventative measures can include provision of antibiotics and vaccination to close contacts."

Dr Langley said there were 13 types of meningococcal in the world, with types A, B, C, W and Y the most common disease-causing strains.

He said most people with meningococcal remain well, but in 5-10% of cases the disease was fatal.


Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Public Health Physician Dr. Andrew Langley holds a press conference back in 2015.
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Public Health Physician Dr. Andrew Langley holds a press conference back in 2015. Warren Lynam

The confirmed case marks the latest in a series of deadly diseases affecting south-east Queensland.

The Queensland Times reported yesterday an Ipswich school with a confirmed case of meningococcal.

The patient presented to a GP and was transported to Brisbane for treatment.

In Toowoomba a spate of chickenpox cases have been confirmed, with five schools in the region, a mix of public and private, confirming cases of the highly infectious, shingles-like virus.

On the Sunshine Coast there have been a string of other debilitating diseases recorded of late.

One case of typhoid fever was recorded about three weeks ago, while there has been two cases of Hepatitis C in the past fortnight.

Sixteen cases of pneumococcal have been recorded to-date while one case of tuberculosis was recorded in mid-September.

More than 3800 cases of influenza have been recorded, with 97 cases reported in the week starting October 2.

There has been 27 cases of rotavirus recorded since September 11, while 55 cases of chickenpox have also been recorded since September 11, taking the year-to-date chickenpox total to 552 cases on the Sunshine Coast.

Mosquito borne diseases have also been occurring, with 2 cases of Barmah Forest virus since September 11, while one case of Dengue Fever takes the Coast's year-to-date total to 28 cases.

Six cases of malaria have been recorded so far in 2017 while 10 cases of Ross River virus have been reported since September 11, with 343 cases so far in 2017.

Almost 90 cases of chlamydia have been recorded since September 11, while 143 cases of gonorrhoea have been confirmed on the Coast since the start of 2017, along with 27 cases of infectious syphilis.

Meningococcal symptoms:

In babies: Symptoms include fever, refusing feeds, vomiting, difficulty walking, lethargy, rash of red-purple spots of bruises that don't fade under pressure.

In older kids and adults: Symptoms include headache, fever, drowsiness, joint pain, stiff neck, dislike of bright light.

Anyone with these symptoms should seek urgent medical attention

Topics:  disease editors picks emergency family health medicine sunshine coast sunshine coast hospital and health service

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