ACT Health Meningococcal Alert to Spilled Milk Participants

People attending the popular music festival Spilled Milk in Canberra last weekend have been warned to watch for meningococcal symptoms after a participant contracted the disease.

ACT Health issued the alert Saturday, urging people to watch out for symptoms of the potentially deadly disease.

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The person infected with the disease attended the festival on November 26 and is currently in Canberra hospital, the health department said.

All of their high-risk close contacts will be identified and contacted.

“We are urging people who attended the Spilled Milk Festival at Exhibition Park in Canberra over the weekend to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease,” said Dr. Kerryn Coleman, ACT’s Chief Health Officer.

“One of the more familiar symptoms is a rash, but this may not be present at all or appear very late in the disease.”

Although the disease is uncommon, it can be serious and lead to lifelong complications or death, she said.

“People can carry meningococcal bacteria down their throat and have no symptoms, but pass it on to close contacts. If you suspect meningococcal disease symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.”

A reddish-purple rash is one of the symptoms of meningococca. Recognition: 7NEWS

Children under the age of five and people between the ages of 15 and 25 are at greatest risk of contracting meningococcal disease, but there is a vaccine.

Meningococcal Symptoms

Meningococcal symptoms include:

  • sudden fever
  • headache
  • neck stiffness
  • joint pain
  • a rash of red-purple spots or bruising
  • Aversion to bright lights
  • nausea and vomiting

Symptoms for young children include:

  • irritability
  • difficulty waking up
  • shrill crying
  • refusal to eat

According to the health department, not all symptoms may be present at the same time.

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James Brien

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