Schoolie being treated for meningitis


A HIGH school graduate celebrating schoolies week has been taken to hospital with a confirmed case of meningococcal disease.

Health authorities have provided up to 13 other schoolies who came in contact with the person with antibiotics and advice.

The schoolie is understood to be receiving treatment for meningococcal meningitis in Brisbane's Mater Hospital.

Gold Coast Population Health Unit public health medical officer Dr Don Staines said the illness was an "extremely dangerous condition".

Dr Staines said it was generally spread through prolonged contact with a carrier.

"Overnight accommodation or household contact is the category we normally associate with transmission of baccilus," he told ABC radio.

"More minor...generally brief contact has no role in the spread of this illness."

He said hospitals often saw a higher number of cases of the illness during the end-of-year school holidays.

"I understand (the people being treated) are all schoolies and I guess that's part of the issue is that schoolies have a much higher number of social contacts this time of year with friends sleeping over," Dr Staines said.

He urged parents and schoolies to look out for signs of the illness, including headache, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness and rashes.

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