tasmania news pageheader 2018

Meningococcal hits North West


A child from east Devonport is Tasmania's eighth confirmed case of meningococcal disease for 2018.

The four-year-old girl is in a stable condition in the Royal Hobart Hospital; public health officials are working with her family to minimise the spread of any infection.

It's the first case to occur in the state's North West this year, but it's too early to say which strain of meningococcal is responsible. 

Tasmanians aged under 21 are being offered a free vaccination for the A, C, Y and W strains of the disease.

An outbreak in Hobart's northern suburbs earlier this year hospitalised several people and claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl. 

"The symptoms of meningococcal disease can include fever, severe headache, confusion, severe muscle pain, and rash," said Acting Director for Public Health Dr Scott KcKeown. 

"People who contract meningococcal disease typically progress from feeling well to feeling extremely unwell very quickly.

"Babies and infants may not have these symptoms but can be unsettled or drowsy, pale or blotchy, floppy and not feeding.

"If you suspect that you or someone you care for may have contracted meningococcal disease, seek emergency medical care immediately."