Be aware of meningococcal disease
Do you know the symptoms of meningococcal disease?
As we head into late winter and spring, students are urged to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease. While anyone can contract it, infection rates are higher in people aged 15 – 24 years.
The symptoms of meningococcal disease include:
- Sudden onset of fever
- Neck stiffness
- Joint pain
- Dislike of bright lights
- Rash of red-purple spots or bruises that don’t disappear when pressure is applied. (A rash does not always appear or it may occur late in the onset of the disease).
Some or all of these symptoms may appear and can mimic other common illnesses. It's important to note that meningococcal disease symptoms usually occur suddenly and can get worse quickly, so if you are concerned you should seek urgent medical treatment.
If you have already seen a doctor but your symptoms continue to worsen, consult your doctor again or go to the Emergency Department.
Rapid treatment with antibiotics can save your life and reduce the risk of severe complications, such as loss of limbs.
Protect yourself against meningococcal disease.
You may have received the meningococcal vaccine for types A, C, W and Y in Year 10. If you missed the vaccine in school and are aged between 14 – 19 years, you are eligible for a free vaccine from your GP. Vaccination for types A, C, W and Y for other age groups is available privately. Vaccination for meningococcal disease type B is also available privately.
For more information about meningococcal disease, head to Health NSW or speak to your GP.