A seven-month-old infant girl is fighting for life after contracting a strain of meningococcal disease.
She was flown to Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital by Royal Flying Doctor Service on Wednesday.
She is currently in critical condition, and urgent tests are underway to discover which strain of the disease she has.
Urgent tests to determine which strain of the infection she has are currently underway at Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital
She was flown from the outback country town of Roxby Downs 563km to Adealaide
Meningococcal has five main strains, with different vaccines protecting against different strains.
SA Health has identified 11 people who came into contact with her in the outback town of Roxby Downs.
The disease itself is contagious, however, it generally takes close or lengthy contact to spread the bacteria.
Nonetheless, they have been instructed to receive antibiotics and monitor their health over the next few weeks.
The outback mining town is 563km away from the city, making the Royal Flying Doctor Service necessary.
Meningococcal is an infectious disease which can be transmitted by close or prolonged exposure like coughing or touching
WHAT IS MENINGOCOCCAL?
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can cause death within hours if not recognised and treated in time.
There are five main strains of the infection, each of which now have a vaccine available in Australia.
Although the majority of victims will recover fully, 10% of those infected will die, and around 20% will have permanent disabilities.
The distinctive meningococcal rash (indicating bleeding into the skin) can be a critical symptom of deadly septicaemia, along with a high fever.
Babies and children up to five-years-old account for two-thirds of cases due to their less mature immune system
There have been 17 cases of meningococcal disease reported in SA to date this year, the same as was reported at this time last year.
This report comes only a week after a free meningococcal B vaccine for infants and adolescents was announced in Adelaide, which is considered a hotspot for the disease.
At present, meningococcal is not under the SA Health school vaccine program.
However, a trial study in 2017 saw 60,000 students sign up for a meningococcal B vaccine to test its effectiveness and reactions.
The trial will run again in 2018.
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