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Meningococcal Meningitis: A Terrifying Illness

Meningococcal Meningitis: A Terrifying Illness

Media Release

17 May 2013

Auckland Medical Research Foundation Free Public Lecture

AMRF Auditorium, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, The University of Auckland

85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland

Thursday 23 May 2013, 7pm

Meningococcal Meningitis: a terrifying illness

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation is to hold a free public lecture on a topic of growing interest Meningococcal Meningitis.

Meningococcal meningitis is a terrifying disease, which can kill previously healthy people within a matter of hours. The bacterium responsible for this disease, Neisseria meningitidis, is commonly present on the surface of the throat, where it causes no problems at all. However, in a very small minority of people who have throat colonisation the organism can invade first the blood and then the fluid around the brain, causing septicaemia and meningitis. Early diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis and treatment with penicillin has dramatically reduced the risk of death. However, a small proportion of people who develop this disease die from it. This lecture will discuss one such tragedy and our current understanding of the disease and its treatment and prevention.

Dr David Galler is a Senior Intensive Care Specialist at Middlemore Hospital and Dr Mark Thomas is an Infectious Disease Physician at Auckland City Hospital, and an Associate Professor in Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. They will share their clinical experience and knowledge of relevant medical research about this terrifying illness.


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