Three WA adults hospitalised with meningococcal disease

Stock pic.
Stock pic.

THREE adults are being treated in WA hospitals after they were diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The three cases serogroup W cases are not linked.

The Department of Health said the rates of meningococcal disease had decreased significantly in WA – down from a peak of 86 cases in 2000 to a low of 16 cases in 2013 – but is now increasing again due to the emergence of new virulent strains of serogroup W, and to a lesser extent serogroup Y, meningococcal bacteria.

There were 41 cases of the potentially deadly disease reported in 2018, including 30 serogroup W, eight serogroup B and three serogroup Y meningococcal infections.

Meningococcal disease in WA peaked at 86 cases in 2000 and dropped to 16 in 2013.

A total of 46 cases were notified in WA in 2017, double the number reported in 2016 and the most in any year since 2005.

As a result of the increase in serogroup W and Y disease in WA over the past three years, a funded State-wide meningococcal ACWY vaccination program for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years started in 2017.

The State-funded meningococcal ACWY vaccine program was expanded to include children aged one to four-years-old in January this year.