Francis Greenway student has meningococcal disease

A Francis Greenway High School student has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

Fellow students and staff have received notification from the Hunter New England Local Health District.

This is the second confirmed case of meningococcal disease in the region.

“It is not necessary for the children or staff in the school to take any antibiotic medication or avoid contact with family members or children,” Public Health Physician David Durrheim wrote in his letter to students and staff.

“They do not need to be isolated from school. While the risk of developing infection is very low, it is important that you seek medical advice immediately if you’re child develops any symptoms or if your child becomes unwell.”

Meningococcal infection is caused by a bacterium that is carried, usually harmlessly, in the nose and throat by up to 10 per  cent of people.

“Occasionally those carrying the bacteria in their nose and throat may pass it on to others who have been in close contact with them,” Dr Durrheim wrote. 

“Only a very small number of people in contact with those that carry the infection develop meningococcal disease.”

Symptoms in older children and adults include headache, fever, vomiting, neck stiffness and joint pains, drowsiness or confusion, a rash of reddish-purple spots or bruises.

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