A patient has died while being treated for suspected meningococcal disease in a southeast Queensland hospital, health authorities say.
Health authorities say the death of a person from suspected meningococcal disease in Queensland’s southeast isn’t cause for widespread alarm.
The disease is the suspected cause of death of a patient who was being treated at a hospital in Warwick, southwest of Brisbane, at the weekend.
The person’s details haven’t been released.
Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Penny Hutchinson says meningococcal is difficult to contract unless there has been close and prolonged contact with an infected person.
“All of the people who have been in close contact with the most recent suspected case have been followed up with the appropriate treatment,” she said in a statement.
“Obviously this is a very distressing time for the family, and our heartfelt sympathy goes to them.”
There have been no other suspected meningococcal cases in the Warwick area recently.
There were 64 confirmed cases of the disease across the state in 2012, 33 last year and 21 so far this year.
WHAT IS MENINGOCOCCAL?
– A severe but uncommon infection that occurs when meningococcal bacteria invade the body from the throat or nose
– Symptoms include vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness, joint pain, rash of red-purple spots or bruises
– After exposure to the bacteria, it usually takes from three to four days to become ill
– It is not easy to catch meningococcal disease; close and prolonged contact with an infected person is usually needed for it to spread
– A person diagnosed with the disease is usually hospitalised and treated with antibiotics
– Some types of meningococcal disease can be prevented with immunisation.
(Source: Queensland Health).