AN adult has been hospitalised after being diagnosed with the deadly meningococcal disease, the fifteenth case reported so far this year.
Health authorities say the patient contracted the W strain of the bacteria.
The incidence of meningococcal disease had previously 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.
A vaccine to protect against the C strain of meningococcal disease, which is now very rare, continues to be provided free to children at 12 months of age.
Combination vaccines that protect against the A, W, C and Y strains are available on prescription, or are provided free for young children and adolescents aged 15 to 19.
Symptoms of meningococcal may include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pains.