5 September 2012 Meningococcal Disease Alert for Auckland Region MEDIA RELEASE BY ARPHS
Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) has received notification of five confirmed cases of Meningococcal disease, across the Auckland region since 29 August 2012. There have been no fatalities reported in relation to these recent notifications and investigations have not established a link between the cases. Meningococcal disease is a serious illness and can be life threatening if not recognised and treated early. ARPHS encourages the public to remain alert for flu-like symptoms that quickly become worse – sometimes in a matter of hours or within two to three days.
Symptoms may include; fever, confusion, sleepiness, dislike of bright lights, stiff neck, joint pain and the appearance of a rash. Children and babies may also refuse feeds, can be floppy and experience vomiting. Medical Officer of Health, Dr Andrew Lindsay advises that if people show symptoms of the illness to contact their doctor without delay. “Even if you or your child has been vaccinated, you are still vulnerable to catching the disease, so please see a doctor if you are at all concerned.”
Meningococcal disease is spread in a similar way to the common cold – through close personal contact, and by coughing and sneezing. It can affect anyone; however babies, children, teenagers and young adults are most at risk. If you or someone in your household is sick and might have Meningococcal disease call your doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116) straight away.