Queensland toddler left fighting for life in hospital after meningococcal diagnosis

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A Queensland mother has warned parents to be on the lookout for symptoms of meningococcal, after her son was left covered in black spots and rushed to hospital, due to the life threatening condition.

Mackay woman La Vonne Palmer told 7 News she took her 15-month-old son Eli to the local emergency department on Wednesday, after he woke up with a high temperature and a rash.


He was rushed to hospital and is being treated in intensive care in Townsville.

A spokesperson for Townsville Base Hospital said Eli is now in a stable condition

Townsville Public Health Unit (TPHU) director Dr Steven Donohue said, “There was limited close contact with others and the risk to contacts and the broader community is very low.”

“At any given time, meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly at the back of the throat or in the nose in about 10 per cent of the population. While the bacteria can be spread via droplets from the nose or throat during coughing and sneezing, close and prolonged contact with a person who has the bacteria in their nose or throat is usually needed for the bacteria to spread to others”, he said.

Dr Donohue said it wasn’t easy to contract meningococcal disease.

Common symptoms of the disease include:

– Sudden high fever
– Nausea or vomiting
– Discomfort in bright lights
– Drowsiness
– Joint pain

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