Meningococcal disease - a serious infectious disease affecting the brain and related organs - has been detected at a child care centre in Townsville, Queensland, where a medical student died of the illness last week. Queensland Health has confirmed a child at the centre has been admitted to hospital with meningococcal disease.
The health officials have written to parents and treated children who came in contact with the infected child at the Playmate Child Care Centre in Garbutt last Tuesday and Wednesday with preventative antibiotics. This case is the third in Townsville, since James Cook University medical student Gurpreet Singh, 18 died of the disease last Wednesday night. Mr. Singh’s college roommate was admitted to Townsville Hospital with the disease, but is now recovering well.
A Queensland Health spokesman said the latest case was not connected to previous ones in Townsville. “Although they have occurred recently, this case is in no way related to the university cases”. Queensland Health's public health medical officer in Townsville, Dr Steven Donohue, also said he could confirm a third case but added, “I can't tell you anything that would confirm or verify anything identifiable…But I can tell you there's been only one other identifiable case this year in Townsville and following our investigations we are quite confident it is un-related to the cases at the university.”