26 Sep 2011

New meningococcal death in Northland

10:33 pm on 26 September 2011

There has been another death in Northland from meningococcal disease - the third in three months.

Health authorities confirmed an 82-year-old woman died had died of the disease last week within hours of developing symptoms.

Northland medical officer of health Clair Mills says the woman was fit and well until Thursday afternoon, when she began vomiting and became incoherent.

Dr Mills says the woman was rushed to hospital by ambulance and treated immediately for suspected meningitis but died that evening.

In all, nine people have contracted meningitis in Northland since the outbreak began in July this year.

Dr Mills says she is waiting for tests to show if the latest death was caused by the C-strain that is currently prevalent in the region, but says there were no apparent links to earlier cases of the disease.

Wellington cases

An infant is in Hutt hospital with meningococcal disease, raising the number of cases in Wellington this year to 11.

The child was admitted on Friday night, as the sixth person in September to contract the disease.

Two people have died from the disease in Wellington this year.

Wellington Regional Public Health says most cases have been meningococcal B.