12 Sep 2016

Second meningococcal case suspected at Mt Aspiring

5:25 pm on 12 September 2016

There has been a second case of suspected meningococcal disease in Central Otago.

Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

A Year 13 student at Mt Aspiring College was admitted to Dunedin Hospital last Monday with the disease, and has been slowly recovering.

In a public notice, Otago Southland medical officer Marion Poore said 10 people who had been in close contact with the student had been offered an antibiotic to reduce the risk of contracting the bacterial infection.

Meningococcal disease can lead to the serious brain inflammation illness meningitis.

The college's principal, Wayne Bosley, said another Year 12 student admitted to Christchurch Hospital yesterday was also suspected of having the disease.

He said school staff were following the advice given by medical officers of health but he declined to say whether the two cases were linked.

Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Keith Reid also said that, although both students attended the same school, there were no obvious links between the two cases.

The DHB was expected to release more details later this afternoon.

Brittany Arthur, a 20-year-old nursing student at Otago Polytechnic, died in Dunedin Hospital last month after suddenly falling sick from the disease.

Dr Reid said public health officials were following up with close contacts of the students to offer treatment.