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Toddler Is Fighting for His Life in Hospital After Being Infected With Deadly Meningococcal

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Toddler Is Fighting for His Life in Hospital After Being Infected With Deadly Meningococcal

A two-year-old boy is in hospital with a potentially life-threatening case of meningococcal and health officials are fearing more children might be at risk.

Families from an Adelaide childcare centre have been contacted by health officials after the small boy was hositalised this week.

The toddler is in a serious condition. The strain of meningococcal is not yet known.

 

A two-year-old boy (not pictured) is in hospital with a potentially life-threatening case of meningococcal 

Health officials have been attempting to contact all people the boy has been in contact with recently and have recommended 64 people take antibiotics as a precaution for the deadly disease.

The case comes just days after the South Australian Government began offering free meningococcal vaccines for children aged between six months to under four years.

For adolescents, a vaccination program will begin in February.

Meningococcal is a bacterial infection that can kill within hours of someone being infected, according to Meningococcal Australia.

The majority of victims can recover fully, however, 10 per cent of those infected die and 20 per cent will have permanent disabilities.

In March, a six-month-old baby boy died after contracting meningococcal in SA.

Two dozen cases of invasive meningococcal have been recorded in south Adelaide so far this year, compared to 31 cases in the same period the previous year.

In March, a six-month-old baby boy died after contracting meningococcal in South Australia (boy not pictured)

What are symptoms of meningococcal?

  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Leg pain
  • Unusual skin colour
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Drowsiness
  • Convulsions, fits or twitching
  • Red-purple rash

Source: Department of Health 

There are 13 different strains of Meningococcal yet four are the most common: A, B, C, W and Y.

An outbreak of the W strain of Meningococcal occurred last year.

From 2014 to 2016, the number of people who were diagnosed with the W strain of Meningococcal quadrupled, with young Australians being the most at risk.

The number of Australians with Meningococcal W rose by 38.1 per cent in 2017, according to the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

Some Australian states like New South Wales and Tasmania are offering the ACWY vaccine for free to young people under the age of 21.

The ACWY vaccine costs between $38 and $120 per dose depending on the vaccine’s brand and each doctor’s consultation fee.

What are the after-effects of Meningococcal?

  • Headaches
  • Skin scarring
  • Limb deformity
  • Deafness in one or both ears
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurring and double vision
  • Aches and stiffness in the joints

Source: Department of Health

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