Students with meningococcal disease progressing well

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[caption id="attachment_4997" align="alignleft" width="217"] Click to read the 15th birthday edition of the Wanaka Sun online[/caption] Eradication antibiotics offered Wanaka Sun (front page) Thursday, September 15, 2016 – Glenda Turnbull - email: journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz In response to two confirmed cases of meningococcal disease at Mount Aspiring College (MAC) and after discussions with the Ministry of Health and the school senior leadership, Public Health offered eradication antibiotics to all students in Year 11-13 at the college yesterday (September 14). Exam timetables for all senior students were disrupted yesterday to enable Public Health South to administer the antibiotics to the students, with exams postponed until today (Thursday). At a meeting for parents held on Tuesday September 13, Public Health South medical officer for health Dr Keith Reid answered questions and concerns from parents and advised new information had arisen in respect of those in close contact with the two students. “This Public Health response to the two cases of meningococcal disease in the College is designed to offer antibiotics to students who are considered most at risk of being asymptomatic carriers. The purpose of the treatment is to clear the meningococcus bacteria from any students who may be carrying it in their nose and throat. [caption id="attachment_4141" align="alignright" width="300"]Email: editor@thewanakasun.co.nz Email: editor@thewanakasun.co.nz[/caption] This is to reduce the level of the disease-causing bacteria within the student population and reduce the risk of further cases occurring in the college,” Dr Keith Reid said. This strategy is designed to capture the highest number of students who might be carriers in the most straightforward fashion. “This eradication treatment does not reduce the risk of cases emerging in students who might already be incubating the disease and paying close attention to students who may be unwell will be required for some time yet,” he said. The first case arose on September 5 when a Year 13 girl was admitted to Dunedin Hospital with the type B of the disease, for which there is no vaccine in New Zealand at present. This student is now in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. A year 12 student was transported to Christchurch hospital for diagnosis on Sunday September 11 and confirmed on Monday (September 12) although the strain and serogroup are still being determined. [caption id="attachment_4654" align="alignleft" width="345"]Phone 03 4438000 Phone 03 4438000[/caption] Canterbury District Health Board confirms the girl is in a serious but stable condition. Her family has asked for privacy. “Meningococcal disease is rare and not easily transmitted from person to person,” Keith said. “It is transmitted only by close personal contact that allows the bacteria to pass from the nose and throat of one person to another.” PHS reminds everyone of the importance of personal hygiene, including regular hand washing and containing coughs and sneezes. If you or your child feel unwell, you should go to your primary care provider. You can also contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice on what you should do. [caption id="attachment_5003" align="alignleft" width="454"]Phone Wanaka Sun 03 4435252 Phone Wanaka Sun 03 4435252[/caption] MAC principal Wayne Bosley said, “I have been advised by the Southern DHB medical officer of health that the school should remain open. I am pleased to be able to let you know that both of the students who have been affected by the meningococcal disease are making positive progress, and the families have been helped greatly by the wide support they have received from the school community.” Click to read the print edition of the Wanaka Sun online... Wanaka Sun | 15 - 21 September 2016 | Edition 783 [caption id="attachment_4997" align="alignleft" width="400"]Read the 15th birthday edition of the Wanaka Sun online Click to read the 15th birthday edition of the Wanaka Sun online[/caption]

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