21 Sep 2011

Sharp jump in Wellington meningococcal cases

7:27 pm on 21 September 2011

The number of cases of meningococcal disease in the Wellington region has jumped sharply in September, and one person has died.

The regional public health service says there have been 10 cases of the potentially deadly disease so far this year - half of them in September.

A medical officer of health, Annette Nesdale, says one young person died on Monday.

Two of September's five cases - three children under five and two young adults - were from Porirua, two from Hutt Valley and one from Wellington.

Dr Nesdale says both the C and B strains are involved. She will not release any other details other than to say it's not known yet what type of meningococcal disease was involved.

An outbreak of the Type C strain in Northland recently claimed two lives.

Dr Nesdale is urging doctors and others to keep a close eye on those who are unwell with flu-like symptoms, which can worsen rapidly.

She is advising parents of young children, and people in hostels and flats, to call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice if they need it.