Meningococcal claims fifth WA victim for 2017

Stock pic.
Stock pic.

A West Australian woman has become the fifth person to die of meningococcal disease this year – the sixth person diagnosed with the illness in recent weeks.

The woman, believed to be in her 20s, is the fifth victim of the serogroup W type of meningococcal in WA this year.

This year there have been 40 cases of the disease, up from 23 in 2016.

There has been a spike in the number of W and Y strains which is well above the long-term average of less than one case per year.

A free vaccination program for people aged 15 to 19 is being offered in WA.