January 8, 2023

Australia warns of severe bacterial infections in local communities

Australia warns of severe bacterial infections in local communities


Health authority in New South Wales (NSW) Australia on Friday, urged local communities to stay alert to signs and symptoms of invasive bacterial infections, as related cases recently increased across the state.

The NSW Ministry of Health said in a statement that there had been increases in both invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) and invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) infections in recent weeks.

The ministry warned that cases of IMD were above-average in NSW towards the end of 2022, and iGAS cases have increased in Australia and overseas.

According to the statement, 137 iGAS cases were registered in NSW between September and December 2022.

There were also reports of 36 IMD infections 2022, of which seven cases were detected in December.

As both diseases can be severe and cause death or permanent disability, Executive Director of Health Protection NSW Richard Broome called on people to pay close attention to symptoms, trust their instincts and seek urgent medical care if symptoms worsen.

“In their early stages, invasive bacterial infections including IMD or iGAS sometimes mimic symptoms of viral infections like COVID and influenza, and can also follow or occur simultaneously as a viral infection,’’ Broome said.

He stressed that rapid intervention and effective treatment for invasive bacterial infections are available and can be lifesaving.