Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meningococcal confirmed in Cairns, Australia - 4th Aug 2011

A WOMAN was last night being treated in Cairns Base Hospital for a meningococcal infection and health officials are investigating two other possible cases.

It comes as the meningococcal outbreak in Townsville, which claimed the life of an 18-year-old university student at the weekend, yesterday reached four with a tourist admitted to hospital.

Queensland Health is warning the Cairns community to "be alert, but not alarmed".

Public health physician
Jeffrey Hanna said the 19-year-old woman in Cairns was in a stable condition. He said initial investigations suggested no connection between the confirmed case and the two pending cases.

"The Cairns community should be alert but not alarmed at the recent cases in north Queensland," he said.

"Meningococcal is an uncommon disease and not easily spread.

"Cairns has now had two confirmed cases of meningococcal in 2011, out of a total of 40 cases in Queensland." Source

** Meningococcal disease describes infections caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (also termed meningococcus). It carries a high mortality rate if untreated. While best known as a cause of meningitis, widespread blood infection (sepsis) is more damaging and dangerous. Meningitis andMeningococcemia are major causes of illness, death, and disability in both developed and under developed countries worldwide.