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Urgent health warning for Splendour revellers after man dies

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Festival-goers who attended Splendour in the Grass are being urged to look out for symptoms of meningococcal disease after two cases were reported.

The warning comes after a Sydney man in his 40s, who attended the event, died from the disease on Thursday.

Health authorities said a second case has been reported in another man who was at the festival.

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Fifteen cases of the rare but sometimes fatal meningococcal disease have been reported in NSW so far this year.

NSW Health says meningococcal disease can be fatal within hours if left untreated, and that up to one in 10 patients die.

Four in 10 infections will result in permanent disabilities, including learning difficulties, sight and hearing problems, liver and kidney failure, loss of fingers, toes or limbs, or scarring caused by skin grafts.

A reddish purple rash is one of the symptoms of meningococcal, but experts say not to wait until it appears to seek health advice. Credit: 7NEWS

Anyone who was at the North Byron Parklands on 21 – 24 July should be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and act immediately if they appear.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease are non-specific but include:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • headache
  • neck stiffness
  • joint pain
  • a rash of red-purple spots or bruises
  • dislike of bright lights
  • nausea and vomiting.

Young children may have less specific symptoms, these may include:

  • irritability
  • difficulty waking
  • high-pitched crying
  • refusal to eat.
File image of the lesions caused by meningococcal disease on a human body. Credit: 7NEWS

The disease is uncommon, having been mostly eradicated by widespread vaccination.

Children younger than five and those aged 15 to 25 are at greatest risk of contracting the disease.

It can occur at any time but NSW Health said it tends to see increases in late winter and early spring.

Health Protection NSW executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty said early intervention can be lifesaving.

Meanwhile, hundreds of festival-goers have taken to social media to discuss the range of other illnesses they contracted while at the festival.

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One user said: “I got brutally sick, awful cold virus.”

Another said: ”On antibiotics for what I think is some kind of throat infection or tonsilitis.”

Other users reported returning home with conjunctivitis, cold sores, staff infections, glandular fever, RSV, chest infections and Influenza A.

The onset of illnesses come after the festival was flooded and the event was renamed by attendees as ‘Splendor in the Mud’.

Thousands of festival-goers wore gumboots and braved it out in the soggy campgrounds.

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 22: Festival goers are seen during Splendour in the Grass 2022 at North Byron Parklands on July 22, 2022 in Byron Bay, Australia. Festival organisers have cancelled the first day of performances at Splendour in the Grass due to heavy rain at the festival site. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images) Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images
BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 22: A festival goer is seen in mud during Splendour in the Grass 2022 at North Byron Parklands on July 22, 2022 in Byron Bay, Australia. Festival organisers have cancelled the first day of performances at Splendour in the Grass due to heavy rain at the festival site. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images) Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images
BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 22: Festivalgoers are seen in the rain and the mud at Splendour in the Grass 2022 on July 22, 2022 in Byron Bay, Australia. (Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage) Credit: Marc Grimwade/WireImage

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Source: 7News