Free vac­ci­na­tions pre­vent deadly dis­ease

Mansfield Courier - - YOUTH NEWS & VIEWS -

THERE have been three cases of meningo­coc­cal in the Hume Re­gion over the past year, and the dis­ease is be­com­ing a greater threat to teenagers be­tween the ages of 15 and 19 than it has ever be­fore.

Cases of the dis­ease have been ris­ing in num­ber, and the State Gov­ern­ment is urg­ing young peo­ple to get the free vac­ci­na­tion be­fore sum­mer.

The dis­ease is still a threat un­til two weeks af­ter be­ing vac­ci­nated, so young peo­ple are be­ing urged to get the free vac­ci­na­tion which is on of­fer un­til De­cem­ber 31.

Five cases have been fa­tal, and 74 oth­ers have been recorded in Vic­to­ria over the last year, as op­posed to 52 cases this time last year.

Health ex­perts pre­dict this num­ber will con­tinue to rise.

One in five teenagers carry the bac­te­ria and 10 per cent of peo­ple di­ag­nosed die within 48 hours.

The best way to pre­vent the spread of this deadly dis­ease is to get the free di­ag­no­sis as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Im­mu­ni­sa­tion saves lives and pro­tects oth­ers in the com­mu­nity,” Min­is­ter for Health Jill Hen­nessy said.

“With the sum­mer sea­son rapidly ap­proach­ing and bring­ing with it more chance for young peo­ple to get out and be so­cial, el­i­gi­ble young peo­ple should take ac­tion and get the free meningo­coc­cal vac­cine.

“If you are el­i­gi­ble, and you haven’t re­ceived it yet, get the free vac­cine as soon as you can, whether it’s from the GP, at school or at a lo­cal coun­cil im­mu­ni­sa­tion ses­sion.”

“We have seen a sig­nif­i­cant rise in meningo­coc­cal cases over the last 12 months with new strains of the dis­ease caus­ing se­ri­ous ill­ness and deaths across Vic­to­ria,” deputy chief health of­fi­cer Dr Brett Sut­ton said.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that this free meningo­coc­cal vac­cine is dif­fer­ent to the one given to young chil­dren and pro­tects against four strains of the deadly dis­ease, which are all on the rise.”

The vis­tas of Mer­ri­jig re­cently fea­tured in the Honda Mo­tor­bikes Christ­mas ad. Shot on lo­ca­tion at Van Eyk Horses, the ad also stars a few lo­cal faces – with riders from the Mans­field Mo­tor­cy­cle Club in­vited to take part.

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