Meningococcal W: Parents plea for immunisation to be added to the vaccination schedule
Carly and Nathan Long are sharing their story after their two-year-old son Arthur contracted the disease.
By Practical Parenting
May 01 2017
Parents of a toddler who contracted meningococcal W are speaking out about the disease as they didn’t realise a vaccine existed.
Carly and Nathan Long from Launceston in northern Tasmania are sharing their story after their two-year-old son Arthur contracted the disease in February.
"To find out Arthur had meningococcal we were kind of in disbelief really, and then to find out later after we came here that he could have been immunised against it, was sickening really." Mr Long told ABC News.
Arthur awoke on February 26 this year with flu-like symptoms and after a doctor told the family he was getting a virus. Soon after he began to deteriorate.
Calling Launceston General Hospital for further advice, they listed his symptoms and were told to bring him in.
"They kept asking if his lips were blue or if he had a rash," Mrs Long said.
"He didn't really — if anything his lips were pale but they said, 'Yes, you need to go to the hospital straight away'."
Once Arthur arrived at the hospital, the rash appeared.
"Doctor Chris, I think it was, who was transporting him to Melbourne said he couldn't guarantee that he's going to be able to get him to Melbourne alive," Mr Long said.
In Melbourne, Noah was operated on immediately and spent two weeks in intensive care.
As a result of the disease, Arthur will be living with permanent disabilities - his feet being amputated in two weeks.
The parents are now left wondering why an immunisation against the W strain isn't listed on the national immunisation schedule.
"I'd love to see it added to the national program — I'd hate to see this happen to anyone else," Mrs Long said.
"At a minimum, every time you take your child to get vaccinated you should be told these vaccinations are available."