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Meningococcal Warning Issued For Spilt Milk

3 December 2022 | 5:01 pm | Mary Varvaris

"We are urging people who attended the Spilt Milk festival at Exhibition Park in Canberra to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease."

(Pic by Cole Bennetts)

Festivalgoers who attended Spilt Milk in Canberra last weekend (26 November) are urged to look out for any symptoms of meningococcal disease and get help immediately if they identify any indicators of the illness.

A person who went to the festival was diagnosed with the disease and is currently in Canberra Hospital. While authorities are contacting close contacts of the individual, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman is warning patrons of the potential severity of the meningococcal disease.

"We are urging people who attended the Spilt Milk festival at Exhibition Park in Canberra on the weekend to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease. One of the more well-known symptoms is a rash, but this may not be present at all or may come very late in the illness," Dr Coleman explained. 

She added, "People can carry meningococcal bacteria in their throats and not have symptoms but pass it on to close contacts. If you suspect symptoms of meningococcal disease, please seek medical review immediately."

Some signs of the disease can include fever, headaches, neck stiffness, joint pain, red/purple spotty or a bruise-like rash, irritability to bright light, nausea and vomiting. Children and young people with the disease can exhibit different symptoms, such as irritability, difficulty walking, high-pitched crying and loss of appetite. 

While targeted meningococcal vaccinations have rendered the disease rare, children under five years old and people aged between 15-25 are most at risk of catching meningococcal. 

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter has also noted that "Meningococcal vaccinations are available for free for all children at 12 months, adolescents and people of all ages with medical conditions through the national immunisation program."

The ABC reported on the high demand for pill testing at Spilt Milk yesterday

Overall the reaction to the drug testing clinic has been positive. One festivalgoer spoke to ABC about testing her drugs ahead of the festival, explaining how grateful she is for the judgement-free opportunity for drug testing, allowing her to make an informed decision after learning the actual contents of the drugs. 

"I think it's really important for people to be able to test what they've got because, obviously, pills aren't regulated, so you have no idea what you're getting," she said.

Spilt Milk hits Ballarat today and the Gold Coast tomorrow. Fans can see the likes of Flume, Stormzy, The Wombats, G Flip, Mallrat, FISHER, Genesis Owusu, Ninajirachi, Spacey Jane, A.GIRL, PEACH PRC, and so many more. Find the rest of the line-up and more details here.