Australian researchers have discovered a possible vaccine for a deadly strain of Meningococcal.
The new vaccine appears to offer complete protection against the most common and dangerous strain of the disease.
Patrick Wright reports.
The Australian-led trial tested the vaccine on people aged between 12 and 18.
And the results are promising.
Michael Nissen, Infectious Disease Specialist: “It’s very exciting. We have an effective vaccine for type C Meningococcus but unfortunately most of the cases we see in Australia now, over 80 per cent, are due to Meningococcal B.”
The vaccine for Meningococcal C has been offered to children since 2003 but researchers have had trouble developing a safe option for the more common ‘B’ strain.
Michael Nissen, Infectious Disease specialist: “I think this will give a lot of parents peace of mind.”
Meningococcal B can be transmitted through saliva and close contact with an infected person.
One in ten infections is fatal.
22-month old Zacc Johnson had to have part of his leg amputated after he contracted the disease.
His mum says a vaccine couldn’t come soon enough.
Simone Johnson, Mother: “I think it’s a great step. If they get a cure or a vaccine for any type of Meningococcal it would be unreal.”
Type B is by far the most prevalent form of the disease, responsible for 80 per cent of all Australian cases. Professor Nissen says an all-ages vaccine is still five years away.”
Parents are urged to watch out for symptoms of the disease.
Simone Johnson, Mother: “If it just doesn’t seem right then take them straight to the doctors. Every second counts.”
The warning comes as we enter winter the peak time for Meningoccal infections.
Patrick Wright, QUT News.