Turia Asks for Meningitis Watchfulness
There have been a number of reported cases of meningitis throughout the country and Associate Health Minister, Tariana
Turia, is encouraging families, especially those with babies, young children and teenagers, to be especially vigilant.
“It’s important that if you think you or someone else you are close to may be at risk, don’t wait, take action! Ring a
doctor or medical centre straight away or even the hospital if you have too. Meningitis is serious if left untreated”
Mrs Turia said.
“Meningitis is a communicable disease which means it’s easily transferred. Symptoms are very similar to having a cold
and could include: high fever, headache, and sleepiness, an aversion to bright lights and in small babies or children,
not wanting to eat.
“Meningitis is a serious bacterial infection that can be passed around by coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing food and
drink with an infected person. A rash occurs in about two-thirds of people with meningococcal disease. Meningitis can be
treated with antibiotics but early treatment is vital.
“When you talk to the health professional, tell them what the symptoms are and don’t be put off as a life may be at
risk. You can never be too careful when the life of a loved one is at stake. Even if your child has been immunised with
Meningococcal B vaccine, they’re still prone to other strains of the bacteria” Mrs Turia said.
"I don’t want to scare people. I’m asking us all to be attentive rather than dismissive because meningitis left
untreated can be heartbreaking”
If you notice any of the symptoms of meningococcal disease or have any other concerns, contact your doctor without
delay, or call Healthline free on 0800 611 116 at any hour of the day or night, even if you have already been seen by a health professional.