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Meningococcal hits second person in WA

AAP logoAAP 14/10/2016

A young adult in Western Australia has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease - the second case in a month.

The Department of Health said on Friday close contacts to the young adult have been notified and given information, and in some cases, antibiotics or a vaccine to minimise the chance that the organism might be passed on to others.

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can cause death within hours if not treated in time.

Last week a young adult was diagnosed with the disease and was recovering in hospital.

A young child died from the disease in September.

The most recent case brings WA's total meningococcal cases to 16 this year. In 2015 there were 17 cases reported.

The Department of Health says the cases of meningococcal disease has "decreased significantly in WA over the past decade", down from a peak of 86 in 2000.

Symptoms may include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pains.

The disease is most common in babies and young children, and older teenagers and young adults, but infection can occur at any age.

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