Baby dies from suspected case of meningococcal in South Australia

A BABY boy has died from a suspected case of meningococcal in South Australia.

The six-month-old was picked up by Royal Flying Doctor Service flight in Mount Gambier just after 11am on Sunday, but died later in the day in Adelaide.

According to the Advertiser, people who came into contact with the boy have been prescribed precautionary antibiotics.

The death comes as concerns grow about a shortage of the vaccine used protect babies from certain strains of meningococcal disease.

Menveo is the only vaccine for the ACWY strains of the disease that can be used in babies under 12 months, but it’s currently out of stock and supply won’t be normalised until next year.

A spokeswoman said Menveo was one of three ACWY vaccines in Australia so there were alternatives in the private market.

But the Perth-based Meningitis Centre Australia said parents who paid for younger babies to have the Menveo vaccine from two months — which requires four doses at two, four, six and 12 months — might be caught midway through the schedule.

Although rare, meningococcal disease can be fatal or cause loss of limbs. Babies aged under 12 months and children under five are most at risk. Meningitis Centre Australia spokeswoman Lisa D’Cruz said the situation could be frustrating for parents of young babies.

“We urge them to speak to their GP to get advice on what they should do for future doses,” she said.

The Health Department uses Menveo and another ACWY vaccine, Nimenrix, in its funded programs for children and teenagers.

Anjeshni Nand and her son, Riaan Karan, with child health nurse Renu Dogra and the ACWY Meningococcal vaccine. Picture: Justin Kennedy

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