9 Jul 2014

Meningitis warning in Solomon Islands

2:22 pm on 9 July 2014

Health authorities in Solomon Islands say four children have died from suspected bacterial meningitis in Makira Province.

The Ministry of Health says it is waiting to confirm the cause of the outbreak but has issued a warning regarding the disease.

It says the bacterial infection includes symptoms of stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, headaches and vomiting.

Babies and very young children may also be irritable, have difficulty waking, rapid breathing, diarrhoea, a high-pitched cry or refuse to eat.

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Photo: RNZ

The ministry says other signs of meningitis can include cold hands and feet, joint pain and skin rashes and families should be on the look out for symptoms and seek medical attention quickly if concerned.

A team from the ministry and the World Health Organisation has been sent to Makira to assist provincial staff investigate and control the situation.