Meningococcal cases confirmed in the Mid West

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Meningococcal vaccinations have been deemed “safe” by the Federal Department of Health.
Camera IconMeningococcal vaccinations have been deemed “safe” by the Federal Department of Health. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Rangeway medical clinic is urging parents to vaccinate their children, following an outbreak of Meningococcal in the Mid West.

Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service chief executive Deborah Woods said representatives would meet with the Department of Health later today to discuss a strategy going forward, which includes a targeted campaign to vaccinate children under five as priority, but also to vaccinate children as old as 19.

Ms Woods said GRAMS was still “investigating” and she would be “wiser by the end of the week” on when each case was first reported and how many people have presented with the disease.

The clinic has so far responded by sending an urgent email alert to its clients, encouraging vaccinations.

The disease strain is thought to be Meningococcal W, one of the most common strains in Australia.

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacterial infection and can be passed on by intimate kissing or living in close proximity to an infected person.

The Commonwealth Health Department states the bacteria can only live outside the body for a few seconds and does not spread easily by sharing food or drinks.

Meningococcal usually causes blood infection and swelling of the brain lining and disease-sufferers may die very quickly without medical help.

The State Department of Health does not release identifying factors of people who have contracted the disease and will not confirm the geographic location of people have been sick.

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