The ACT government has warned everyone attending Canberra’s popular music festival in November to be on the lookout for symptoms of a deadly illness they may have contracted at the venue.
Health officials are urging people attending the Spilled Milk festival on the weekend of November 26 to be aware of symptoms of meningococcal disease and to act immediately if they experience symptoms. .
Those who attended the festival have since been diagnosed and admitted to Canberra Hospital.
Authorities have identified close contacts of the individual and are contacting them directly.
ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman, Ph.D., said meningococci, while rare, are serious and can lead to lifelong complications and death.
“We are urging people attending the Spilded Milk Festival at Canberra’s Exhibition Park over the weekend to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease. One of the more common symptoms is A rash, which may not exist at all or may appear very late in the disease,” Coleman said.
Common symptoms of the disease include sudden fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, rash-like red/purple spots or bruises, sensitivity to bright light, nausea, and vomiting.
Symptoms in children and adolescents are less common, but include hypersensitivity, difficulty walking, high-pitched crying, and loss of appetite.
“People who have meningococcal bacteria in their throats but do not have symptoms can pass it on to close contacts. If you suspect you have symptoms of meningococcal disease, seek medical attention immediately. Please,” said Dr. Coleman.
Vaccination against the disease has made it “rare”, but children under 5 and people aged 15 to 25 are at the highest risk of contracting meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal vaccination is available free of charge to all children from the age of 12 months, adolescents, and people of all ages with a medical condition through national vaccination programs.
first published as Meningococcal warning after spilled milk music festival in ACT
Spilled Milk: Meningococcal Warning After ACT Music Festival
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