WA baby becomes fourth child infected with meningococcal in less than a week

A West Australian baby has been infected with meningococcal disease – the fourth case reported in a child in less than a week.

The WA Health Department said the infant was recovering in hospital after being diagnosed with a W strain of the bacterial infection.

Last Friday the department reported four new cases – three in children and one in an adult. None were linked.

Meningococcal disease is an uncommon and life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain.

There have been 32 cases reported so far this year -- 23 of W strain infections, seven B strain cases and two Y strain infections.

There were 46 cases in WA last year, double the number reported in 2016 and the most in any year since 2005.

SOURCE: Perth Now

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