9 Jan 2019

NZ baby confirmed to have meningococcal disease in American Samoa

10:58 am on 9 January 2019

A two month old baby who was admitted to American Samoa's LBJ Hospital before Christmas has been confirmed to have meningococcal disease.

LBJ hospital, American Samoa

LBJ hospital, American Samoa Photo: RNZI

Chief Medical Officer Iotamo Saleapaga said the blood samples from the child had tested positive for the disease.

The baby, who was born in New Zealand, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with a high fever and was treated for meningococcal disease while blood samples were sent to the United States for confirmation.

The baby's condition has improved and the infant has been discharged.

Meningococcal disease is spread through respiratory and throat secretions or through close contact like coughing or kissing, according to the Department of Health.

The department is checking family members for the disease to prevent exposure to others.

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