Vac­cine avail­able

Hills Gazette - - NEWS -

THE free meningo­coc­cal ACWY vac­cine will be avail­able at com­mu­nity health cen­tres and GPs through­out the Wheat­belt.

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook last week ex­tended the state vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram to chil­dren aged one to five to help pro­tect against the se­ri­ous dis­ease.

The high­est in­ci­dence of meningo­coc­cal dis­ease in WA last year was in chil­dren younger than five years old.

There were 46 cases of the dis­ease and six were fa­tal.

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Wheat­belt pub­lic health physi­cian Dr Naru Pal said meningo­coc­cal dis­ease was an un­com­mon, life-threat­en­ing ill­ness caused by a bac­te­rial infection.

“The vac­cine will help pro­tect chil­dren against meningo­coc­cal and min­imise the spread of the dis­ease,” he said.

Peo­ple are urged to know the signs of the dis­ease and seek med­i­cal ad­vice early.

Young chil­dren may not com­plain of any symp­toms. Fever, a pale or blotchy com­plex­ion, vom­it­ing and lethargy may be a sign. The dis­ease is not al­ways ac­com­pa­nied by a spotty red-pur­ple rash.

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