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Qld meningococcal spread played down

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016

Health authorities have played down the likelihood of other Brisbane children contracting meningococcal disease after a 20-month-old boy was diagnosed with the infection this week.

The boy, who was confirmed to have the potentially fatal infection on Thursday, is in a stable condition at the Prince Charles Hospital.

Staff from Metro North Public Health Unit on Friday administered an antibiotic to around 20 children from the Kedron childcare centre where the boy was enrolled.

"The purpose of the antibiotic is to remove bacteria from the nose or throat of any child who may be a carrier within the group of children with closest contact with the boy," Dr James Smith, the spokesman for Metro North, said.

Overall meningococcal disease is hard to pass on except by direct contact with an infected person, but Dr Smith said they are calling for all parents who have children enrolled at the centre to arrange for antibiotics for them.

"Despite the very low likelihood of further cases, we are asking parents to watch for any symptoms of the disease and to seek medical assistance immediately if they suspect the illness."

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