Tot's rapid death sparks meningitis warning

Last updated 05:00 06/11/2012

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The death of a 14-month-old Northland child is a reminder for everyone to be vigilant about meningitis.

The Bay of Islands child became ill on October 14 and was taken to an after-hours GP.

Tragically, the child died at home in the early hours of October 15.

Northland medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman says this is one of the saddest cases he has seen and an example of how quickly meningococcal disease can progress.

An investigation into the death will be led by the Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation, which will look at the GP's management of the case.

Dr Jarman says parents need to seek medical advice if their children are unwell and go back to the doctor if they don't get better.

The 14-month-old is Northland's third case of meningococcal disease so far this year - the lowest number since 1991. Lab results have confirmed the B strain.

A nationwide meningococcal B vaccination campaign from 2004 to 2008 helped stop a nationwide epidemic of the strain. Last year free vaccination against meningococcal C was offered to al Northlanders aged 12 months to 19 years.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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