Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can affect all ages but is more common in babies, causing serious illnesses including meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning).
Early symptoms can be similar to the flu but quickly get much worse. Symptoms include:
- high fever
- sleepy, floppy, hard to wake up
- refusing feeds or drinks
- stiff neck
- high pitched cry
- skin rash
Early treatment with antibiotics is very important. If your tamariki appears very ill, especially if there is a rash, ring a doctor, or Healthline 0800 611 116 day or night. In an emergency, call 111. Don’t wait.
Vaccination is free for high risk groups including children with a weakened immune system. Find out more: www.kidshealth.org.nz/meningococcal-disease