Free vaccinations prevent deadly disease
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.”