The mother of a meningococcal survivor has called for more education on different strains of the disease.
Carly Pitt’s son Arthur was diagnosed with meningococcal W septicaemia shortly before his second birthday in February last year.
He managed to pull through, though his feet and most of the fingers on his right hand had to be amputated.
Prior to contracting the disease, Arthur had received the Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine, which was introduced into the National Immunisation Program Schedule during 2003.
Ms Pitt said she was not aware of the other strains before Arthur’s ordeal.
“We weren’t ever told about the different vaccines that weren’t on the schedule, which fed into a false belief he was vaccinated against everything he could be vaccinated against,” she said.
“The cases this year has meant there is more awareness in the community than there was, but it’s still a little bit confusing.
“It’s great that the state government is now offering free vaccinations against the ACWY strains, but I don’t think enough people know that they have to pay for an extra one to be protected against the B strain.
“Anyone showing symptoms should go to a hospital just so they can rule it out.”
A 15-year-old Launceston boy became the state’s third confirmed case of meningococcal B this year after he was diagnosed with the strain on Thursday.
The boy remains in a stable condition at Launceston General Hospital.
Under the current statewide vaccination program, B strain vaccinations are available via private prescription from a GP.
Speaking on Friday, communicable diseases clinical director Faline Howes said Public Health Tasmania was “continuing to support the national conversation” about the meningococcal B vaccine.
“It’s really important the government is allowed to work with manufacturers of the B vaccine, because it needs to be shown to be effective,” she said.