Epidemic Hazard – Australia – Australia

EDIS Number: EH-20120413-34886-AUS
Date / time: 13/04/2012 06:54:13 [UTC]
Event: Epidemic Hazard
Area: Australia
Country: Australia
State/County: State of Queensland
Location: Gladstone
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 3 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A


Three Queensland children have contracted the potentially deadly meningococcal disease, two of whom are in a serious condition. Queensland Health has confirmed three Gladstone children were in hospital with the disease. Two of the children are in a serious but stable condition, one in Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital and the second in Rockhampton's hospital, while a third child, also in Rockhampton's hospital, is said to be in a stable and improving condition. Antibiotics will be offered to all children and staff at a child care centre the sick children have been linked to, Queensland Health says. One of the children attended the centre while the other two have indirect links to it. Public Health physician Dr Sonya Bennett said the centre's other children and staff may be carriers of the meningococcal bacteria and will be offered antibiotics. "All close contacts of the cases have been identified and offered antibiotics to clear the meningococcal bacteria from anyone who might be carrying it in their nose or throat and prevent them from passing it onto someone else who may develop disease," Dr Bennett said. She said meningococcal was an uncommon but severe disease caused by a bacterial germ. "About 10 per cent of people carry meningococcal bacteria in their throats and noses without having any symptoms," Dr Bennett said, and it spreads through coughing and sneezing as droplets from the nose or throat. Infections are caused by close and prolonged contact with a carrier. A vaccine against one strain of meningococcal bacteria has been offered to all children at their first birthday since 2003. The main symptoms include a high fever, severe headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, drowsiness, a rash that emerges and spreads rapidly. The rash initially looks like very small bruises just under the surface of the skin. There have been 16 meningococcal cases in Queensland this year so far.

Event updates:
Situation Update No. 1 on 2012-04-16 at 07:30:15.

Syndicated from RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information