A woman who lost her husband to meningococcal just 10 weeks ago is now fighting for her life in hospital after being struck down by the same disease.
Gillian Taylor, from Greenwith in South Australia, was unable to afford vaccination against the deadly B strain virus after paying for her husbands funeral, Nine News reports.
Since the death of her husband, Mark, Ms Taylor had been campaigning for the public to have free access to immunisations, which normally cost about $300.
Mark Taylor was killed by the disease after contracting it in July. Mrs Taylor couldn’t afford to be vaccinated after paying for his funeral.
But now, her family’s been forced to establish a bedside vigil as Ms Taylor fights the cruel disease at Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital.
The 52-year-old previously said if jabs were free, the family would have been immunised and her husband wouldn’t have been killed.
Her sister, Marnie Ross, says she can’t believe the virus has attacked two members of her family within such a short time span.
‘It’s devastating, it’s more just disbelief that she lost her husband ten weeks ago from this disease,’ she said.
Gillian Taylor, 52, lost her husband to meningococcal just 10 weeks ago is now fighting for her life in hospital after being struck down by the same disease
‘For how rare the disease is, I can’t believe that it’s happened twice to our family.’
‘In my opinion…had she’d been given that vaccine when her husband died we wouldn’t be here today.’
Medical staff have reportedly told the family it was unlikely Mr Taylor had passed the virus onto his wife because of the time difference.
But according to meningococcal.org, bacteria that causes the disease can exist harmlessly inside the nose and throat for prolonged periods of time.
Mrs Taylor’s sister, Marnie Ross, says she can’t believe the virus has attacked two members of her family within such a short time span
The bacteria can only be transferred through secretions from the back of the nose and throat, meaning its not easily passed on by the sharing of drinks or food.
The website states ‘close and prolonged contact’ would be required in order for the disease to be transferred.
A 46-year-old South Australian woman also lost her life to the disease about a week ago.
There have been 28 reported cases of Meningococcal in the State so far this year, eight more than the same time last year.
Meningococcal: The killer disease
- Caused by bacteria and transmitted via mucus
- Bacteria can live harmlessly in the throat and nose
- Around 20% percent of people will carry these bacteria at any one time without ever becoming ill
- Bacteria are not easily spread from person to person
- Bacteria are passed between people in the secretions from the back of the nose and throat
- 10% of those infected will die, and around 20% will have permanent disabilities
- Symptoms include: fever, backache, stiff or painful neck, sensitivity to light, twitching or convulsions