The Government of South Australia and SA Health reported last week on a case of invasive meningococcal disease (meningococcal serogroup W-135) in a 5-year-old girl from regional South Australia. The child has been admitted to hospital in a stable condition.
SA Health has identified multiple people who had contact with this case, of which 34 people have been directed to receive antibiotic chemoprophylaxis.
There have been 27 cases of invasive meningococcal disease reported in South Australia this year, compared to 30 cases recorded at the same time last year.
This is the fifth case of meningococcal serogroup W-135 reported in 2016; the remaining cases have been meningococcal serogroup B.
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Meningococcal disease most often causes meningitis, an inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It’s very rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress rapidly. Symptoms include high fever (greater than 101 degrees F), accompanied by severe headache, neck stiffness and confusion. Vomiting or rashes may also occur. Anyone with these symptoms should contact a health care provider or go to an emergency room immediately.