Adult makes four people diagnosed with meningococcal in WA this year

Stock pic.
Stock pic.

AN adult is the fourth person to be diagnosed with meningococcal disease this year in Western Australia.

They were diagnosed with meningococcal serogroup C – making them the second person to catch this strain of the infection this year.

Last week a child diagnosed with the same strain of the disease was released from hospital.

The four cases reported to date in 2019 include one diagnosis of serogroup B, two of serogroup C and one serogroup W meningococcal infections.

The incidence of meningococcal disease has been increasing due to the emergence of new virulent strains of serogroup W and to a lesser extent serogroup Y meningococcal bacteria.

A total of 41 cases were notified in WA in 2018. This was less than the 46 cases notified in 2017, but well above the long term average for annual cases.

The number of serogroup W cases in 2018 (30) was also the highest reported in any year.

The Department said although treatable with antibiotics, meningococcal infection can progress very rapidly, so it is important that anyone experiencing these symptoms seeks medical attention promptly.

“With appropriate treatment, most people with the disease recover, although around five to 10 per cent will die and around 15 per cent may experience complications such as hearing loss, or gangrene requiring skin grafts or amputations,” the statement said.