A six-month-old baby girl from South Australia has been hospitalised after contracting meningococcal disease.
SA Health reported in a tweet yesterday that the baby girl from metro Adelaide had been admitted to hospital after contracting the invasive serotype W strain of meningococcal disease.
The Department for Health and Wellbeing has identified multiple people who have had contact with the baby girl, and 15 close contacts have been instructed to receive clearance antibiotics.
SA’s meningococcal cases doubled from this time last year
This sweet girl isn’t the state’s first case of meningococcal for the year. There have been four cases of invasive meningococcal reported already this year, compared to just two at this same time last year.
About meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. While it’s not common, babies, young children and teens are most at risk of the disease, though it can affect adults also. Meningococcal disease progresses very quickly, taking someone from healthy to battling for life within a 24 hour period. If you suspect you or a family member has Meningococcal disease symptoms, ACT FAST.
Know the symptoms of meningococcal disease
As a parent, meningococcal disease can be tricky to identify because it presents with many of the symptoms of normal childhood illness including teething and the common cold. Early recognition and treatment of the disease offers the best chance of recovery.
Early symptoms of meningococcal can include:
- High fever
- Refusal to eat
- Difficulty waking or extreme tiredness
- High-pitched or moaning cry
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Pale, grey or blotchy skin
- Sensitivity to light
- Cold hands and feet
- In infants, a bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on top of the head)
The drinking glass test
If there’s a rash developing, there is a ‘drinking glass test’ you can do at home to determine if the rash is harmless or not.
Doctors of South Melbourne say “many harmless rashes fade and become lighter (known as ‘blanching’) when a drinking glass is placed against the affected area. A meningococcal rash will often keep its red or purple colour under the same test, though this isn’t 100% definitive.”
Trust your gut and seek help!
If your child is not their usual self, showing any of the above symptoms or even if your parent gut instinct is telling you something is not quite right, PLEASE seek advice from your doctor. If your child’s ill health continues or gets worse, don’t hesitate to head straight into your local hospital’s emergency department.