Confirmed cases of Meningococcal Disease prompts reminder of signs and symptoms

8 August 2018

Two confirmed cases of Meningococcal Disease in New Plymouth have prompted a reminder from Taranaki DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman for our community to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of the disease.

Dr Jarman says “At this current time, the Taranaki District Health Board does not believe these two cases are related. One of the cases is Stratford-based, the other from New Plymouth.”

Dr Jarman confirms that both cases were diagnosed quickly and received prompt treatment to manage the symptoms. “Both patients have responded well to treatment and should make a full recovery.

Although Meningococcal Disease is a rare illness in Taranaki and these cases do not pose a risk to the community, it can be a very serious illness and people need to be aware of its signs and symptoms.”

Meningococcal disease can progress very quickly and may initially appear as a flu-like illness. The signs and symptoms of Meningococcal Disease can include any of the following:

  • High temperatures (fever)
  • Headache
  • Confusion and sleepiness
  • Joint pain, aching muscles and/or neck stiffness
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Red or purple skin rash

Dr Jarman explains “On average we get about one to two cases of meningococcal disease each year in Taranaki.  We had three cases in 2015, none in 2016, one in 2017 and these are the second and third case so far this year”.

If an individual is sick, check them often. Don’t delay to seek medical attention by either:

  • Ringing the 24/7 Healthline – 0800 611 611
  • Visiting your GP
  • Visiting Medicross or Phoenix Urgent Doctors
  • Visiting the hospital’s Emergency Departments (ED)

More information can be found at http://www.moh.govt.nz/meningococcal

Click here for Meningococcal frequently asked questions (PDF).

 

ENDS

For more information please call: Cressida Gates-Thompson, Communications Manager – 027 703 6177

 

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