Public health typically observes a seasonal increase of meningococcal disease from June to September each year and is currently managing new cases.
“Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. It is caused by bacteria spread by very close or many hours of prolonged contact with an infected person. Be alert for symptoms and if you suspect meningococcal disease visit your doctor immediately or call Healthline for advice,” says Medical Officer of Health Shanika Perera from Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS).
Symptoms to watch out for include some or all of the following: fever, headache, vomiting, feeling sleepy/confused/delirious, loss of consciousness, joint pains, aching muscles, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, rash - purple or red spots or bruises. Additional symptoms in babies and infants include being unsettled, floppy or irritable, refusing drinks/feeds and becoming harder to wake.
“Since June this year we have managed 12 cases which is to be expected at this time of year. We are investigating these cases and monitoring the situation,” says Dr Perera.
Call Healthline on 0800-611-116 or visit your doctor if you suspect meningococcal disease.