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Bay of Plenty meningococcal case confirmed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service can confirm that a young child died on Saturday night at Rotorua Hospital from meningococcal disease.

"Everyone did everything right, however, this disease can make a person sick very rapidly and cause death, which unfortunately happened in this case," says Dr Neil de Wet, Medical Officer of Health.

Over the weekend public health unit staff worked to identify close contacts of the child, a total of 7 people, and they have been given advice and preventative treatment.

"This appears to be an isolated case with no links to other cases. So far this year, there have been 6 cases of meningococcal disease in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes regions, which is no higher or lower than what we would expect on average," says Dr de Wet.

Meningococcal disease can occur at any age, but is most common in children under the age of five years.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease in babies and young children may include fever, irritability, sleepiness, floppiness, hard to wake, refusing drink or food, vomiting and a rash. Adults can have similar symptoms and may also have a stiff neck, headache and sensitivity to lights.

"Anyone with some of these symptoms should seek medical attention without delay as early treatment is very important," says Dr de Wet.

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