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Perth child treated for meningococcal

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A child has been treated in hospital for meningococcal B, the third case of the life-threatening bacterial infection in WA this year.

The WA health department said today that the child has now been discharged from hospital.

Last year there were 11 meningococcal cases reported in WA, including one death.

Amelia Clayton, from Kalgoorlie-Boulder, died on February 3 2020 aged only 20.


Ms Clayton suffered a bleed on the brain, but her mother Geri Bennett said she did not have the rash typically associated with meningococcal.

Meningococcal is caused by bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain, and sometimes the throat, lungs and large joints.

Camera IconAmelia Clayton 20-year-old barista from Kalgoorlie, died from meningococcal disease. Credit: @amelia.kithen/Instagram/@amelia.kithen/Instagram

It is not easily spread from person to person, but through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It is not spread by saliva and does not survive for more than a few seconds in the environment.

Meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly in the back of the throaty by up to 20 per cent of people. Occasionally the bacteria can invade the bloodstream or tissues and cause an infection.

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

Sometimes, but not always, there will be a spotty red-purple rash that looks like bleeding points beneath the skin or bruises.

Up to 10 per cent of people who develop meningococcal will die and about 15 per cent will have complications, such as hearing loss or gangrene.

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