Central Coast Local Health District is reminding the community to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease following confirmation of a second case of the disease in a local resident.
A 65 year-old woman from the Central Coast became unwell while visiting family in Victoria where she remains in hospital, in a stable condition, with the W strain of the disease.
The first case for the region this year was in May with an 81 year-old woman confirmed with the Y strain of the disease. The woman made a full recovery and was discharged from hospital.
There is no link between either of the cases.
Central Coast Local Health District Director Public Health Dr Peter Lewis said that close contacts of the 65 year-old woman have been prescribed clearance antibiotics to reduce the risk of it being spread to anyone else.
“Meningococcal bacteria are not easily spread from person to person and the bacteria do not survive well outside the human body.
“Although meningococcal disease is very uncommon in NSW it can be a very serious illness and it is important that the community are aware of the symptoms and seek early medical care,” Dr Lewis said.
Symptoms of meningococcal disease may include sudden onset of fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, a rash of red-purple spots or bruises, dislike of bright lights nausea and vomiting.
The bacteria are passed between people in the secretions from the back of the nose and throat. This generally requires close and prolonged contact with a person carrying the bacteria who is usually completely well, such as living in the same household.
Vaccination for meningococcal disease, types A, C, W and Y, is available on the National Immunisation Program for infants at 12 months of age and adolescents in Year 10.
Any adolescents aged 15 to 19 years who miss the vaccine in school are eligible for a free vaccine from their GP.
The NSW Government has invested about $130 million in the 2018-2019 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
For more information download a NSW Health Fact Sheet: