"I thought it was just a case of the flu"

KNOW THE FACTS

Meningococcal disease can progress rapidly and be hard to diagnose.

Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacterial infection of the blood and/or membranes that line the spinal
cord and brain.

It can progress rapidly, beginning with symptoms such as fever and irritability that are easily mistaken for a
common cold.

The distinctive meningococcal rash is an advanced symptom of blood infection, which may or may not occur.

Most children survive meningococcal disease, but if it is not diagnosed and treated quickly it can lead to serious
long-term disability or death within 24 hours.

In a few short hours, Arthur was fighting for his life

Know the signs & symptoms

Symptoms of meningococcal disease can be difficult to recognise and can easily be mistaken for a common cold or virus.

Common symptoms of meningococcal disease amongst babies and young children may include:

In babies only

Meningococcal disease can be deadly
or have long-term consequences

While meningococcal disease is rare, it is potentially life threatening. Up to one in ten of those infected may die,
and around one in five may suffer serious long-term disabilities including brain damage, deafness or loss of limbs.1,2

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Up to 1 in 10 may die.1,2


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Up to 1 in 5 may have
permanent disability.1,2

Know the signs & symptoms

Symptoms of meningococcal disease can be difficult to recognise and can easily be mistaken for a common cold or virus.
Common symptoms of meningococcal disease amongst babies and young children may include.

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High fever
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Refusal to eat
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Difficulty waking or
extreme tiredness
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Vomiting
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Pale, gray or
blotchy skin
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Cold hands
and feet
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Sensitivity
to light
In babies only
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High-pitched
moaning cry
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A bulging fontanelle
(soft spot on top of the head)

Meningococcal disease can be deadly
or have long-term consequences

While meningococcal disease is rare, it is potentially life threatening. Up to one in ten of those infected may die,
and around one in five may suffer serious long-term disabilities including brain damage, deafness or loss of limbs.1,2

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Up to 1 in 10 may die.1,2


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Up to 1 in 5 may have
permanent disability.1,2

“Riley lost his hands and legs, but he’s still my little boy”

BABIES and young children are most at risk of
meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease can strike at any age. Babies (less than one year of age) and children (under 5 years of age) are
most at risk, followed by adolescents (15-19 years of age).


The number of cases of meningococcal disease reported in Australia
has increased in recent years3,4

There are multiple strains of meningococcal disease. The most common strains globally are A, B, C, W, X and Y.
Currently in Australia, strains B, W and Y cause the majority of disease.3,4

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In children under 5, the most
common strains were B and W in 2018.
Babies under 1 are most at risk.3,4


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In adolescents, the most common
strain was B, followed by W and Y,
in 2018.3

KNOW THE FACTS

While practising good hygiene can
help protect against the spread of
germs, vaccination is an effective
way to help prevent meningococcal
disease.

No single vaccine can protect against all strains of meningococcal disease, but different vaccines are available to protect against the most common ones
(A, B, C, W and Y).

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“Seeing Ashley in ICU was devastating. It was terrible”

Speak to your doctor for more
information on meningococcal disease
and how you can help protect your family


Encourage your friends and family to learn the facts about
meningococcal disease!


DOWNLOAD THE KNOW
MENINGOCOCCAL GUIDE

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Doctor’s advice
to parents

Dr Starr’s advice:
What parents need to know

Speak to your doctor for more
information on meningococcal disease
and how you can help protect your family


FURTHER READING