News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Antibiotics, advice after meningococcal death

Public health provides antibiotics, advice after meningococcal death following camp


Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has sent staff to a Motutapu Island camp to provide protective antibiotics and assess the risk to others after a young man attending the camp died from suspected meningococcal disease last night in Auckland City Hospital.

There are 190 people at the St John youth camp on the island, but only a few people are considered to be ‘close contacts’ and at risk of infection.

ARPHS Medical Officer of Health Dr Denise Barnfather said a public health nurse and doctor have been to the island to give antibiotics to the young people who shared the same sleeping quarters and another person possibly exposed in the first aid room. A friend of the young man was taken off the island as part of the medical evacuation last night, has been given antibiotics, but is not considered unwell.

"This is very tragic for the family of the young man who died, and for everyone at the camp.

"The risk of the young people or staff being infected is very low, as the meningococcal bacterium is only spread by very close contact, or many hours of contact, with an infected person.

The other young people at the camp are safe and are being well looked after by St John, who are sending additional support staff. The camp will continue until tomorrow and parents have been told of the young man, and given information on symptoms for when the young people return home," Dr Barnfather said.

Northland’s Public Health Unit is talking to the family about who else might have been at risk in the previous seven days in which the young man was infectious.

"Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal disease, and can be difficult to diagnose, so we are providing information to the young people and parents so they can be alert for symptoms. It can look like the flu early on but quickly gets much worse. It is important to get early treatment," Dr Barnfather said.

Symptoms 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.

"If you or anyone you know has these symptoms, don’t wait. Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116) immediately," Dr Barnfather said.

There is an average of 29 cases of meningococcal disease annually in Auckland, however numbers vary from seven to 47 in 2017.

For more information on meningococcal disease visit the ARPHS web page here.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland