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Potentially deadly disease confirmed at Ipswich school

UPDATE: 

THE patient with meningococcal disease was not treated in Ipswich. 

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has confirmed it was made aware of the confirmed meningococcal case on Wednesday afternoon. 

The patient, who is part of the Augusta State School community, was transferred to a Brisbane facility for treatment after presenting to a GP. 

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service was not able to confirm any patient details, including whether or not the individual is a student, due to confidentiality.  

The health service notified the school and parents of the confirmed case yesterday afternoon but says there is "a very low chance of any further cases" in relation to this case.

The Queensland Government offers free meningococcal vaccinations to all one-year-old children and all year 10 students through its School Immunisation Program, and people aged 15 to 19 years through their doctor.

"If you are concerned that you or a family member may have contracted meningococcal disease, more information is available from general practitioners or by contacting 13HEALTH," a West Moreton Hospital and Health Service spokesperson said. 

More information about immunisations through Queensland Health is available here

INITIAL: 

ONE CASE of a potentially deadly disease has been confirmed at an Ipswich school.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has alerted parents at Augusta State School that a member of the school community has contracted Meningococcal.

The QT has contacted the health service for further information and await a response, however, we understand the risk to the rest of the community is limited.

Parents and staff were notified of the confirmed disease case via a letter which included the statement, "the chances of further cases related to this one are very low".

"All normal school activities should continue as usual," the letter reads.

The service wrote in the letter that it had already contacted the people most likely to be affected due to close contact with the individual who has contracted the disease.

"Please be assured that the occurrence of a case does not reflect negatively on the school or the person, as the disease can be contracted anywhere and by anyone," the letter reads.

Unlike norovirus, which is present at Ipswich Hospital and being managed to stem the spread, Meningococcal is not highly contagious - although it can be deadly.

Augusta State School parent Samir Bhana said the email notifying parents of the meningococcal case was sent out yesterday.

"Basically, the subject line just read Augusta Heath," Mr Bhana said.

"Once I read the email it was a little bit concerning as I have one boy in the school, but I was very happy the school told me straight away.

"I've seen schools in the past where you never get these types of notifications, but Augusta State School has been very proactive about it.

"The school was on the ball and while I'm worried about my son contracting the disease it's not something we can really do much about.

"It seems like it was a fairly quick turnaround with regards to letting the parents know and they did send a document that tells us about the disease, so that's just another way they are trying to be proactive and to help parents about what to be aware of."

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