Meningococcus kills Sydney man, NSW Health warns

NSW Health issued a warning after a man in his forties died of meningococcal disease.

“His infection was identified after his death and reported to NSW Health yesterday,” health officials said.

He has issued a warning from NSW Health that young people and parents in the state are alert to symptoms and “take immediate action if they appear.”

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said early intervention from the disease can save lives.

“The onset of meningococcal disease symptoms can come on suddenly and become very severe very quickly. If you suspect meningococcal disease, don’t wait for the rash – see a doctor right away,” McAnulty said.

According to health experts, meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly by about 10% of the population in the back of the throat or nose.

They are then spread via droplets during coughing and sneezing or close contact such as kissing.

If the infection is detected early enough and the correct antibiotics are given, most cases recover completely.

“Although it is a well-known symptom of meningococcal disease, the rash does not always occur or may occur late in the disease,” added McAnulty.

Multiple invasive meningococcal diseases have been reported in Australia this year. In July, a two-year-old boy died after contracting a case. The four most common types of meningococcus in Australia are B, C, W and Y, and vaccines are available to protect them.

A total of 12 cases in AS were reported in 2021, of which six were serogroup B and six serogroup W.

There were three deaths from meningococcal disease in 2021.

Symptoms of meningococcus include:

– Red and purple rash

– Severe and unexplained pain in the limbs

– Difficulty waking up

– Acute crying in children

– Bad headache

– Shocked by bright lights

– Stiff neck

Originally published as meningococcus kills a Sydney man, NSW Health warns