Local News

Toddler from the New England region dies after contracting meningococcal disease

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A toddler from the New England region has died after contracting meningococcal disease.

Hunter New England Health (HNEH) won't confirm details on the gender, age, when or where the toddler was hospitalised but have confirmed tragically the toddler passed away after contracting the disease.

It's the fourth case for the health district this year.

Hunter New England Health said the symptoms are:

Symptoms of meningococcal disease are often non-specific, and may include sudden onset of fever, headache, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Young children may have less specific symptoms. These may include irritability, difficulty waking, high-pitched crying and refusal to eat. 

Other early signs in young children and teenagers may include leg pain, joint pain and cold hands and feet despite a high fever.

Not all people with meningococcal disease develop a rash but if a rash occurs it typically does not disappear with gentle pressure on the skin.  The rash is often red-purplish spots that may look like bruising.

If you think you might have contracted the disease seek medical attention immediately.

Image credit HNEH