Meningococcal alert for Sunshine Coast Schoolies

December 8, 2022 6:54 am in by
Local News

An 18-year-old who attended Schoolies celebrations in Maroochydore, has caught meningococcal disease.

The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit was notified of the case yesterday, by the Victorian Department of Health.

Authorities say meningococcal infections are uncommon thanks to vaccination, but people who attended social venues in Maroochydore between November 26 and December 2, should be alert to symptoms and act immediately if they appear.

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“Symptoms may not all be present at once, but may include sudden onset of fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, dislike of bright lights, nausea, and vomiting,” says a SCHHS spokesperson.

“Young children may have non-specific symptoms. These may include irritability, difficulty waking, high-pitched crying, and refusal to eat.”

“People who suspect symptoms of this disease should immediately seek medical attention – early treatment for meningococcal is life-saving.”

Although meningococcal disease can affect all age groups, children under the age of five and those aged 15 to 25 are at the greatest risk of contracting it.

“The close contact between young people at events like Schoolies may have placed them at an increased risk of contracting this infection,” a statement reads,” a statement reads.

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“Meningococcal disease is caused by certain strains of bacteria that can be found in the upper respiratory tract in a proportion of the population.

“It can spread from person to person through close or prolonged contact, such as between household members or intimate partners.

You can Visit the Queensland Health website for more information.