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Six-month-old baby girl rushed to hospital with invasive strain of meningococcal

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Six-month-old baby girl is rushed to hospital with invasive strain of meningococcal – as 15 close contacts are identified

A six-month-old baby girl has been rushed to hospital after contracting and invasive strain of meningococcal. 

South Australia Health confirmed the child from Adelaide is in a stable condition after being identified as having the serotype W strain. 

Meningococcal is a highly contagious and potentially deadly illness which can cause a number of horrific symptoms including rashes inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and blood poisoning.

‘The Department for Health and Wellbeing has identified multiple people who had contact with the baby, and 15 people have been directed to receive clearance antibiotics,’ SA Health said in a statement.  

There have been four cases of meningococcal in SA this year, including the a 29-year-old Adelaide man who died after contracting the rare disease.

Last week, there were also two cases reported in NSW at Sydney’s Northern Beaches. 

‘A total of five cases were reported in 2020 (in SA). Of the five cases. Three were serogroup B and two were serogroup Y,’ SA health said.

Doctors say the telltale symptoms include rashes that often appear as red or purple pinprick spots, or larger bruise-like areas.

However there are rare cases when rash does not appear. 

Other symptoms include, fever, headache, neck stiffness, discomfort when you look at bright light, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea and feeling very sick.

The devastating long-term effects include loss of arms and legs deformed arms and legs, aches and stiffness in the joints, scars on the skin, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), deafness in one or both ears, kidney or liver failure, ongoing headaches, blurred or double vision, blindness and learning difficulties.  

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