Disease is deadlier than dengue — Akbar

THE meningococcal disease is much more dangerous than dengue fever, says Health and Medical Services Minister Rosy Akbar.

While warning students of Nadi about the disease yesterday, she said the disease posed a bigger threat to people.

“This is a bacteria that infects your blood and if it reaches your brain lining, then it could be deadly,” she said.

“We’ve declared that there has been an outbreak of this disease in the country and one of the things that we urge people to be mindful of is to be aware of the signs and symptoms that come with the disease.

“Especially for young children, if you get a sudden fever and sudden vomiting, you have to go to your nearest facility and get yourself checked.

“Along with those symptoms, if you have a stiff neck and a headache and you have nausea and your eyes become too sensitive to light, you could be suffering from meningococcal disease.

“If you start to develop rashes and the rashes turn purple, that is a sure sign of this disease. Again this disease is very deadly, so I am urging people to seek immediate medical attention if you think you have any of these symptoms.

“This is more dangerous than dengue and that is why we want you to be on alert and to be aware of your health.

“Whether it’s dengue or meningococcal, you need to visit your doctor.”

She said the disease could be treated if detected early.

According to the Ministry, 12 people have died from the disease since 2012.

Up to 105 people had contracted the disease since 2016 and 14.4 per cent of them died as a result.