Queensland boy dies after contracting deadly virus
AN Ingham boy has died in North Queensland after contracting meningococcal disease.
The boy was initially being treated in Ingham Hospital before being rushed to Townsville in an ambulance last Wednesday.
The boy, whose name and age was not released, died on Friday afternoon.
"Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment more specifically on this case," Townsville Public Health Unit director Dr Steven Donohue said in a statement. He allayed fears of the disease spreading, saying it was difficult to catch.
"While the bacteria can be spread via droplets from the nose or throat during coughing and sneezing, close and prolonged contact with a person who has the bacteria in their nose or throat is usually needed for the bacteria to spread to others," he said.
"Sharing saliva through, for example, sharing cups, drinks or cigarettes is not considered to be a way of spreading the disease.
"As meningococcal bacteria cannot live long outside of the body, the infection cannot be picked up from water supplies, swimming pools, bed linen or pillows."
It comes just days after a woman died of the disease on the weekend had only been married hours before.
Jamieka McCarthy Harford, 26, died in Auckland on Saturday after falling ill during her wedding ceremony. She later died of the bacterial infection linked to meningitis.
Jamieka's husband told Newshub that her sudden death was a huge shock.
"Her passing was a huge shock to everybody to lose her so quickly and this has been incredibly difficult to process," he said.
"She was taken from us without notice by a horrible, deadly disease."