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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Zealand : Link between killer bug cases probed

Via New Zealand Herald :

" Health officials are waiting to see if a child diagnosed with meningococcal disease has the same strain that has killed three people in the region since July.

Northland medical officer of health Clair Mills said the 5-year-old boy was admitted to Whangarei Hospital with meningococcal disease on the evening of October 7 and was in a stable condition.

Dr Mills said it was the 10th case in Northland since July.

"We are waiting to hear from the national laboratory whether [the latest case] is a Group C - as in the majority of cases this year in Northland - or another type of meningococcal disease,'' she said.

"It was fortunate the parents knew about meningococcal disease and they sought medical attention immediately. The disease can be rapidly life-threatening. The child was admitted to a ward and is doing well.''

Northland DHB's public health unit had identified close contacts of the child but it appeared there was no obvious link between this and previous meningococcal cases, Dr Mills said."

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