Toddler dies from meningococcal as expert links deadly disease to FLU season
- The toddler’s death was the fourth case within NSW’s New England region
- Doctor David Durrheim said the child’s family has been given medication
- He said cases of meningococcal peaked in spring after winter flu season
A toddler has died after contracting meningococcal disease in New South Wales.
The death, which occurred on Monday, was the fourth case of the disease in the Hunter and New England regions this year.
Public health physician Doctor David Durrheim, who confirmed the case, said the child’s family has been medicated to prevent the spread of the illness.
The death which occurred on Monday was the fourth case of the disease in the Hunter and New England regions this year (stock image)
‘This is a tragic event and our sympathies are with the child’s family at this very difficult time,’ he said.
‘Meningococcal disease can occur at any time of the year, but we do typically see a peak in cases in spring following the winter flu season.’
Dr Durrheim added infants, young children, teenagers and young adults were usually struck down with the disease.
‘Although people of any age can be affected,’ he said.
Meningococcal disease does not spread easily and usually begins with a sudden onset of fever.
Other symptoms of the illness include a headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, and a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, dislike of bright lights, nausea and vomiting.
A total of 22 people have contracted the disease in New South Wales so far this year.
‘Meningococcal disease can occur at any time of the year, but we do typically see a peak in cases in spring following the winter flu season,’ Doctor David Durrheim said