One confirmed death from Meningitis in Solomons

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is advising the public to seek immediate medical care if they have fever, vomiting or severe skin rash.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) undersecretary Dr Gregory Jilini made this statement after a blood sample from the three death cases reported between December 29th and January 6th was positive for N. Meningitis.

A 10-year-old boy from Honiara who died in Malaita after a short period of illness with fever and rash, a 23-year-old sister who died at the NRH after presenting with similar symptoms fever and rash and an 11-year-old boy died at the NRH on January 6th.

“Two blood samples were collected and sent to Australia for confirmation, and it was confirmed that one out of the two samples was positive for N. Meningitis,” Dr Jilini said in a statement yesterday.

He said similar cases have occurred in Makira in 2014 and Malaita in 2016 and it is not a new disease and it can be treated.

“Epidemiological analysis by MHMS and WHO showed that this was an isolated case and since there has been no further cases reported for the three-week period following the three deaths.

“MHMS does not declare any outbreak of meningococcal disease,” he said.

However, he said the MHMS and WHO are closely monitoring the situation through surveillance and other measures.

The public is therefore, urged to:

  • 1) Wash hands frequently;
  • 2) avoid staying and sleeping in overcrowded area and
  • 3) minimize exposure of young children to smoke.

Dr Jilini said practicing and maintaining personal hygiene, cleanliness and safe environment at all times is a must to avoid such deadly disease.