Meningococcus claims another Queensland victim
A SIXTH case of meningococcal meningitis has been confirmed in North Queensland, but public health doctors say there is no connection between the patients.
Queensland Health said the 17-month-old toddler tested positive for the bacteria but was in a stable condition at Cairns Base Hospital.
All confirmed cases of the disease occurred in North and Far North Queensland in recent weeks.
Medical student Gurpreet Singh, aged 18, was found dead in his bed at James Cook University’s Townsville campus last week.
A 19-year-old woman is also recovering in Cairns Base Hospital, while an elderly woman who was taken ill while holidaying on Magnetic Island remains in a critical but stable condition.
The remaining cases involved a second James Cook University student and a young child in Townsville.
A further two people are awaiting test results, though initial laboratory tests came back negative.
Townsville Public Health Unit physician Dr Steven Donohue assured Queensland residents the bacteria was not common.
“The risk to the general community is very low, as the disease is not highly infectious and is generally only spread in situations of close and prolonged contact – for example, in household settings,” he said.