Young WA child dies of meningococcal

Stock image.
Stock image.

A YOUNG child in Western Australia is dead after contracting a virulent strain of meningococcal disease and another is also infected.

The two children, both aged under three, had contracted the serogroup W infection and one had since died, the state’s health department said on Monday.

An adult from interstate was also infected with another strain of the bacteria.

“There have now been four deaths from meningococcal disease in WA in 2017, all infected with the serogroup W type of the organism,” a health department statement said.

So far this year there have been 38 cases of the potentially deadly disease, up from 23 in 2016.

“The numbers of serogroup W and Y cases are well above the long term average of less than one case per year of each of these types,” the department said.

The children and adult are the latest cases of the disease in WA but none of the individuals are linked.

Symptoms can include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pain.

Young children might not complain of symptoms, so fever, pale or blotchy complexion, vomiting, lethargy (blank staring, floppiness, inactivity, poor feeding or being hard to wake) and rash are important signs.

– AAP