Hobart teenager dies from suspected meningococcal infection
A Hobart teenager has died from a suspected meningococcal infection.
Tasmanian health authorities were advised of the girl’s death after laboratory tests showed evidence of the disease.
The Tasmanian Health Service (THS) said a small number of people who were in contact with the girl have been provided with antibiotics in case they are carrying the infection, but it said linked cases were uncommon.
The wider circle of social and other contacts will be provided with information about meningococcal disease.
The girl died in Hobart on Thursday.
It is the state’s first case of meningococcal for the year.
Facts about meningococcal disease:
- It is not common, but it is potentially life-threatening.
- It can cause disabilities if not treated.
- It is caused by bacterial infection of the blood, or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain.
- The bacteria is carried harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat by between 10 and 20 per cent of the population.
- Symptoms may include fever, chills, aches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion.
- While the majority of people fully recover, infection can progress quickly and about 5 per cent will die.
There were 16 confirmed Tasmanian cases last year.
The last death in Tasmania was a West Australian teenager who died at the Royal Hobart Hospital in August last year.
Lloyd Dunham, 19, was on holiday in the state when he died from the W-strain on the disease.
Its not known what strain of the disease is involved in the Hobart teen’s case.
The THS said the state’s Population Health Services was responding to this case in line with national protocols.
The coroner is investigating the death.