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BREAKING: Hunter Meningococcal Death

The victim is a young man

BREAKING: Hunter Meningococcal Death

A young man has died in a Hunter hospital from meningococcal disease.

Hunter New England Health says it’s the first recorded death of the disease locally this year.

Close contacts of the man have been given clearance antibiotics.

"Meningococcal disease may be very severe and the community needs to be on the alert for its symptoms. If anyone suspects meningococcal disease, they should seek medical attention immediately," Public Health Physician Dr Kathryn Taylor said.

Up to 10 per cent of patients with invasive meningococcal disease in Australia die as a result of the infection. The first symptoms of meningococcal disease may include pain in the legs, cold hands and feet and abnormal skin colour.

Later symptoms may include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights, nausea and vomiting, a rash of reddish-purple spots or bruises, and drowsiness. Babies with the infection can be irritable, not feed properly and have an abnormal cry.