Another Tasmanian contracts meningococcal disease

A 20-year-old man is being treated for a meningococcal infection at Royal Hobart Hospital, three days after a young woman died from the disease.

Tests confirmed on Saturday that the man had the potentially fatal bacterial disease that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl on Thursday.

Tasmania's Population Health Services last night began advising people the man had come into close contact with and administering antibiotics to them.

Population Health Services deputy director Scott McKeown said they were trying to get in touch with the man's social and work contacts today to provide them with more information about meningococcal infection.

There have been only two cases of meningococcal disease in Tasmania this year.

The state usually averages about four or five cases annually.

Symptoms include fever, severe muscle aches and pains, headache, feeling unusually unwell, confused or drowsy and late in the illness a rash may occur.

"A person with meningococcal disease can deteriorate rapidly," Dr McKeown said.

"If you suspect meningococcal disease, seek emergency medical treatment immediately."

The Health Department is reminding parents that Tasmanian teenagers born between August 1 1997 and April 30 2003 are eligible to receive a state-funded meningococcal vaccine through their general practitioner.

This vaccine provides protection against the meningococcal strains A, C, W, and Y.

SOURCE: abc.net.au

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