Young adult recovering in WA hospital from meningococcal infection

Stock image.
Stock image.

A YOUNG adult is recovering in a West Australian hospital after being diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The Health Department says the patient has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly serogroup W strain of the bacteria.

It is the fourth WA case of meningococcal disease diagnosed to date in 2018, including another serogroup W case and two serogroup B infections.

Six people died and 46 meningococcal cases occurred in WA during 2017, double the number reported in 2016, with the increase attributed to new, virulent strains of serogroup W and Y.

The number of W and Y cases were well above the long-term average of less than one case a year, and the most ever recorded in WA.

The WA government announced a free vaccine for the strains A, C, W and Y for children aged between one and five last month, on top of a free jab for teenagers aged 15 to 19.

The federal government followed on Friday with the quad-strain vaccine added to the national immunisation program for babies under 12 months, on top of the current vaccine against meningococcal C available for free at 12 months and funding for an at-cost serogroup B vaccine.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the pharmaceutical benefits advisory committee will also consider listing the new vaccine for adolescents next month.

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