Meningococcal death on Darling Downs

THE Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS) has assured Warwick residents a suspected case of meningococcal disease in the city at the weekend is not cause for widespread alarm.

The disease is suspected as the cause of death of a patient who was receiving treatment at Warwick Hospital after developing symptoms.

Director of the Darling Downs Public Health Unit Dr Penny Hutchinson said the disease was difficult to contract unless there had been close and prolonged contact with a case.

"All of the people who have been in close contact with the most recent suspected case have been followed up with the appropriate treatment," Dr Hutchinson said.

"Obviously this is a very distressing time for the family, and our heartfelt sympathy goes to them."

Dr Hutchinson said there had been no other suspected cases of meningococcal disease in the local area recently.

Dr Hutchinson said more information on meningococcal disease was available on the Queensland Health website or by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

No further details on the suspected case will be released as it has been referred to the Coroner. The DDHHS is cooperating fully in the investigation.

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