Rash from a meningococcal meningitis infection.
Rash from a meningococcal meningitis infection.

Two cases of meningococcal confirmed in Mackay

TWO cases of meningococcal have presented to Mackay Hospital and Health Services already this year.

The rare bacterial and contagious disease can induce the sudden onset of fever, joint pain and a red and purple-spotted rash among other symptoms.

Health physician Dr Steven Donohue said Mackay's two recent cases of meningococcal were unusual but unrelated.

"Meningococcal disease is a rare, but serious and sometimes fatal illness that can potentially be prevented through vaccination," he said.

"Meningococcal disease most commonly occurs in children aged younger than two years and in adolescents aged 15-19 years of age.

"Queensland Health continues to monitor the trends of strains causing invasive meningococcal disease and respond accordingly."

Apart from routine vaccination programs in place, response to cases of meningococcal disease involves following up close contacts of cases and providing chemoprophylaxis to prevent further transmission; and vaccination where indicated.

Because meningococcal disease is a relatively uncommon infection, with natural fluctuations in frequency, it can take months and sometimes years before trends are confirmed.