Amanda Young Foundation founders stress importance of education after rise in WA meningococcal cases


Gosnells Primary School students Destiny-David Iguodala, Elisha Lao-as and Ronin Richards reading a Good Bugs-Bad Bugs educational book.
Gosnells Primary School students Destiny-David Iguodala, Elisha Lao-as and Ronin Richards reading a Good Bugs-Bad Bugs educational book.

AMANDA Young Foundation founders Barry and Lorraine Young have stressed the importance of education to prevent the spread of infections, as the number of meningococcal cases in WA rises.

The Department of Health said after 23 reported cases of meningococcal last year, there have already been 21 cases this year.

While overall the number of cases has dropped from the 2000 peak of 83, it has risen since the 2013 low of 13.

In the last two weeks of August there were five reported cases in the state, including four serogroup W cases.

There have been 12 serogroup W cases so far this year, far more than the long-term average of less than one serogroup W case per year.

There were 14 such cases recorded last year.

Mr Young said it was important to teach kids preventing the spread of harmful bacteria was vital.

“It’s things like, when you cough, make sure you do it into your elbow, wash your hands before you eat,” he said.

“There are things you can share; you can share sporting equipment, but don’t share cakes and lollies. The idea is to stop the transmission of orally transmitted diseases.

“You don’t want to frighten the kids about meningococcal, you just want to teach it and get the information home to their parents.”

The pair established the foundation to fight meningococcal after their daughter Amanda passed away from the disease, and have signed up more than 450 schools, including Gosnells Primary School, for their annual Good Bugs-Bad Bugs personal hygiene project.

Schools that sign up are sent educational books and pamphlets are sent to the parents to teach children the importance of personal hygiene.

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