Canberra’s first case of meningococcal B in years

Share Canberra's trusted news:

ACT chief health officer, Dr Paul Kelly.
ACT chief health officer, Dr Paul Kelly.
A PERSON is in Canberra Hospital recovering after contracting the ACT’s first case of meningococcal B since 2016. 

ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly says immediate action was taken once the case was notified.

“Action taken includes the provision of antibiotics to people who have been in close contact with the person and information about meningococcal disease to those at low-risk as contacts,” he says. 

“Meningococcal disease is rare, but it can be severe, leading to life-long complications or death. It can cause meningitis and/or bactaeremia – an infection of the blood.”

In more recent years, the dominant disease-causing strains in the ACT and nationally have been meningococcal W and Y.

Dr Kelly says young adults and older teenagers are at a higher risk of contracting meningococcal disease.

“People in these age groups are more likely to carry bacteria in their nose and throat, and more likely to spread the bacteria to others,” he says. 

“That’s why we are targeting young people aged 16 to 19 with a catch-up program for the meningococcal ACWY vaccine.

“It’s why today, ACT Health is releasing a new video, which highlights to young people why getting vaccinated against meningococcal is so important.

Young people aged 16 to 19 who have yet to receive the meningococcal vaccine can also get the free vaccine through their GP until the end of the year.

Dr Kelly says meningococcal symptoms usually develop very quickly over a few hours. It is extremely important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

ACT Health’s new online video about meningococcal vaccine and further information about meningococcal disease and the catch-up program can be found at

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleReview / In a nutshell, a winning ‘La Traviata’
Next articleArts / Exploring despair in ‘Moving Climates’

Leave a Reply