Meningo­coc­cal: Ed­u­ca­tion is key

Comment News (Armadale) - - News -

AMANDA Young Foun­da­tion founders Barry and Lor­raine Young have stressed the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion to pre­vent the spread of in­fec­tions, as the num­ber of meningo­coc­cal cases in WA rises.

The Depart­ment of Health said af­ter 23 re­ported cases of meningo­coc­cal last year, there have al­ready been 21 cases this year.

Over­all the num­ber of cases had dropped from the 2000 peak of 83, but it has risen since the 2013 low of 13.

In the last two weeks of Au­gust there were five re­ported cases in the state, in­clud­ing four serogroup W cases.

There have been 12 serogroup W cases so far this year, far more than the longterm av­er­age of less than one serogroup W case per year.

There were 14 such cases recorded last year.

Mr Young said it was im­por­tant to teach kids pre­vent­ing the spread of harm­ful bac­te­ria was vi­tal.

“When you cough, make sure you do it into your el­bow, wash your hands be­fore you eat,” he said.

“There are things you can share; you can share sport­ing equip­ment, but don’t share cakes and lol­lies. The idea is to stop the trans­mis­sion of orally trans­mit­ted dis­eases.

“You don’t want to frighten the kids about meningo­coc­cal, you just want to teach it and get the in­for­ma­tion home to their par­ents.”

The pair es­tab­lished the foun­da­tion to fight meningo­coc­cal af­ter their daugh­ter Amanda died from the dis­ease, and have signed up more than 450 schools, in­clud­ing Gosnells Pri­mary School, for their an­nual Good Bugs-Bad Bugs per­sonal hy­giene project.

Schools that sign up are sent ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial.

Gosnells Pri­mary School stu­dents Des­tiny-David Iguo­dala, Elisha Laoas and Ronin Richards read Good Bugs - Bad Bugs.

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