NT meningococcal cases 6 times more than 2016

Indigenous child vaccine

AN OUTBREAK of potentially life-threatening meningococcal disease has health authorities in Central Australia worried.

There have been 17 cases of the disease in the Northern Territory so far this year.

The outbreak has mostly affected Aboriginal children in Central Australia, Katherine and Barkly regions.

Last year, there were just three NT cases of meningococcal disease.

Centre for Disease Control acting director Charles Douglas encouraged those in high risk groups (Aboriginal children and teenagers in Central Australia, the Barkly and Katherine West regions) to go to their local health clinic to receive a free vaccination.

“It’s important to be aware of the symptoms including fever, a stiff neck, severe headache, confusion, difficulty looking at bright lights, vomiting, sore muscles or joints, drowsiness or a rash, and seek medical advice,” he said.

“Meningococcal infection is treatable with antibiotics, but the infection can progress very rapidly, so it is important that anyone experiencing these symptoms seeks medical attention promptly.”

Meningococcal disease is rare but can be very severe, and infected people can become unwell quickly.

Those who are not in the high risk groups can see their local health clinic or GP to discuss the need for vaccination and private purchase of the meningococcal vaccine if required.

SOURCE: NT News

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