Meningococcal case confirmed in North Tasmania

Doctor giving a child an intramuscular injection in arm, shallow DOF

A meningococcal case has been confirmed in a child who attends the Abacus Child Care centre at Trevallyn.

Public Health acting director Dr Mark Veitch said the child was receiving care in hospital.

There had been three cases of invasive meningococcal disease in Tasmania in 2017, Dr Veitch said, with one in the North and two in the South.


There were five Tasmanian cases in 2016, with one in the north and four in the south.

“Public Health Services has responded to the case in accordance with guidelines,” Dr Veitch said.

“The child’s closest contacts, including those in childcare, were given antibiotics in case they were carrying the meningococcal bacteria in their throat.

“They will also be offered vaccine … people in recent contact with the child were also given information, reassurance and advice about the very small possibility of developing meningococcal disease.”

Symptoms include a headache, muscle pains, fever, drowsiness, a rash and vomiting. Babies may not have such symptoms but could be drowsy, floppy and not want to feed. People should seek medical help immediately if it’s believed they or their child may have meningococcal.

There has been a rise in cases of the W strain of the disease.

Dr Veitch said most of the recent Tasmanian cases of invasive meningococcal disease were due to the W strain and mostly impacted adults.

A national response to the strain is being coordinated, he said. A vaccine against W, and also A, C and Y strains, can be bought with a private prescription.

C vaccine is provided to children aged under 12 for free.

SOURCE: The Examiner

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