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MENGINGOCOCCAL OUTBREAK FROM STATE TO STATE IN AUSTRALIA

West Australian teenager dies

in meningococcal outbreak

Aja Styles

July 31, 2011 – 8:26AM

A West Australian man who had been studying at a north Queensland university has died of meningococcal disease.

A fellow student and friend was also being treated in hospital and others were taking antibiotics.

James Cook University held a memorial service yesterday for the 18-year-old, who was found dead in his room at the Catholic College on Wednesday night.

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Catholic College principal Tom Tarttelin said all residents and staff at the college were shocked by the loss.

“He will be greatly missed in our community and our hearts go out to his family,” he said.

“We are offering support to all those who are grieving at this sad time.”

An autopsy indicated the student died from meningococcal disease, a university spokesman said.

The second-year medical student’s family from Perth arrived in Townsville on Thursday to take their son’s body home.

Meanwhile Queensland Health has offered clearance antibiotics to his closest contacts as a precaution.

One was admitted to Townsville Hospital on Friday suffering symptoms of the disease, the spokesman said.

“His disease was picked up quickly and he is recovering well in hospital,” he said.

Queensland Health’s public health medical officer in Townsville, Dr Steven Donohue, said further precautions would be taken as a result of the second case.

Antibiotics would be offered to a wider circle of contacts and information given to the whole university community.

They were also being offered counselling, after last week’s death of the student who had only just returned from his home state for the beginning of the second semester.

– with AAP  Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


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