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Killer meningococcal claims Warwick teen

TRAGIC LOSS: Suspected Warwick meningococcal victim Jazmyn Carter.
TRAGIC LOSS: Suspected Warwick meningococcal victim Jazmyn Carter.

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the death of Warwick teenager Jazmyn Carter, who died of suspected meningococcal disease.

The 18-year-old was being treated for her symptoms at Warwick Hospital and died yesterday morning.

It is believed the young woman, who graduated from Warwick State High School last year, was taken to hospital after falling ill at a local Aussie Rules game on Saturday.

Public health officials said the case was "highly suspicious" of meningococcal, and had been referred to the Coroner.

Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson yesterday said that Warwick residents should not be panicked about the likelihood of transmission.

She would not comment on the specifics of the case.

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"At this stage it has been referred to the coroner, so we will not have any further information in the near future," Dr Hutchinson said.

"It is very difficult to catch meningococcal.

"It often requires both close contact and prolonged contact with someone who may have the bacteria in their throat.

"Early diagnosis and treatment generally results in recovery.

"However, sometimes this disease can be so rapid that even despite the best and most intensive treatments, people can die or have complications from it."

Dr Hutchinson said the unit was in contact with people who had been in close contact with the patient who died.

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"Any close contacts have been assessed and are being managed by the public health unit and the hospital," she said.

Dr Hutchinson said meningococcal had a mortality rate of about five per cent.

Jazymyn's boyfriend took to Facebook yesterday with a tribute to his girlfriend saying his life had been "turned upside down".

"She picked my life up so much over the last 12 months and became my rock," he wrote.

"No-one has ever made me feel so wanted and loved like you have.

"I love you so much Jazmyn and I always will."

AFL Darling Downs president Andrew Foley said the football community was shocked and saddened.

"At this point in time we're focusing on giving all of our support to the club and where needed, the family."

Meningococcal disease

  • Symptoms in babies include fever, refusing feeds or vomiting, a high-pitched moaning cry and a rash of red-purple spots or bruises.
  • Symptoms in older children and adults include vomiting, fever, headache, a stiff neck and a rash of red-purple spots or bruises.
  • The bacteria can be spread through droplets from the nose or throat, but is not spread by sharing drinks or cigarettes.
  • After exposure to the bacteria, it usually takes from three to four days to become ill, although sometimes it can be as little as one day or as long as 10 days.

Topics:  editors picks jazmyn carter meningococcal warwick hospital



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