Thursday, 19 January 2017 8:47 AM

Cause of Death in Children Confirmed as Meningococcal Meningitis

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has confirmed that the mystery illness which killed three children over the festive season has been identified as meningococcal meningitis.

The Ministry says that test results from blood samples sent to Australia returned positive to the deadly disease. It has also confirmed that apart from the three deaths no further cases have been reported.

“It is important though to remain cautious and not be complacent, people must act quickly if a symptom of the disease such as fever, vomiting and severe skin rash occurs.

"Symptoms may be similar to the common flu, but it progreses quite quickly, so any sign of deteriorating health in a very short span of time must be taken very seriously.

“The important message we want the public to know is that this disease is treatable so long as it is detected at its early stage, it progresses quite quickly so early detection is important,” a senior officer within the Ministry said.

While the confirmed cases may come as shock to the general public, similar cases occurred in Makira in 2014.

The Ministry says that simple precautionary measure should be taken, such as washing hands regularly, avoiding crowded living and sleeping conditions and avoid exposing young children to smoke.

The Ministry says that it continues to monitor the situation and will provide further updates to the public as and when more information comes to hand.

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