Nate Barber, 3, and Gracie Eilola, 1.
Nate Barber, 3, and Gracie Eilola, 1. Contributed

Dual meningococcal fright

THERE'S nothing more frightening then seeing both your children struck down at the same time by a disease that every parent dreads, meningococcal.

This became a frightening reality last week for Gladstone mother Danielle Mackenzie when both her children contracted the disease.

Danielle became alarmed last Tuesday week when Nate, 3, developed an extremely high temperature of almost 40 degrees.

"At first I suspected a snake or spider bite, but when we got to Gladstone Hospital, they did blood tests and found a bacterial infection," Danielle said.

Doctors made the call for the Nate to travel to Rockhampton Hospital for treatment. On the one-hour drive, first signs of the deadly purple rash began to appear.

Two days later, on the way to visit her sick big brother, 12-month-old Gracie started vomiting, and after arriving in Rockhampton, was rushed into the ICU.

Danielle says the support from family and friends was wonderful, particularly as she was 21 weeks' pregnant.

After more than a week in hospital, both children were in a stable condition.

"The doctors have said that they're not better until they walk out this door," Danielle said.

 

Symptoms

  • Fever with cold hands and feet
  • Cold shivers
  • Pain in muscles or joints
  • Pain in chest or abdomen
  • Pale, grey or blotchy skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Diarrhoea
  • A rash, which may start off as a spot, scratch mark or blister, as a faint pink rash or as red or purple pinpricks on the skin, then develop into the distinctive purple bruising

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