Mackay Qld, first meningococcal case since 2016

MACKAY Hospital and Health Services has recorded its first case of meningococcal disease since 2016, with a local male diagnosed in recent weeks.

The diagnosis, one of six across Queensland so far this year, was made in the week of January 22.

Public Health Physician Dr Steven Donohue said the patient, who lives in the Mackay Hospital and Health Services area, had made a good recovery after contracting the invasive disease.

“The male is no longer in hospital. Anyone who was in close contact with him was traced and given prophylactic antibiotics where appropriate,” Dr Donohue said.

“The risk to casual contacts and the broader community from this case was low.

“At any given time, meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly at the back of the throat or in the nose in about 10 per cent of the population.

“While the bacteria can be spread via droplets from the nose or throat during coughing and sneezing, close and prolonged contact with a person who has the bacteria in their nose or throat is usually needed for the bacteria to spread to others.”

Mr Donohue said sharing saliva through sharing cups, drinks or cigarettes is not considered to be a way of spreading the disease.

“Meningococcal bacteria cannot live long outside of the body so the infection cannot be picked up from water supplies, swimming pools, bed linen or pillows.

“Symptoms include vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, rash and joint pain.”

SOURCE: Daily Mercury

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