About 1,000 high school students in Queensland have been given antibiotics after three cases of meningococcal disease were discovered.
The cases were discovered this week at St Mary’s Catholic College in Cairns. One is a teacher and two are students.
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Two of the patients are in hospital, the other has been discharged.
On Friday, health authorities rolled out the antibiotics to prevent the disease from spreading.
Director Wayne Wood said about 95 percent of parents allowed their children to take the antibiotics.
“Of course we respect the choice of parents who did not want to participate,” he said on Friday.
Queensland Health issued a public health warning about the cases on Thursday.
The rollout of antibiotics aims to kill bacteria that cause meningococcus, which is carried in the back of a person’s throat or nose.
“The bacteria can be spread through droplets from the nose or throat during coughing and sneezing or close contact such as kissing,” Tropical Public Health Services director Richard Gair said in the warning.
Symptoms include rash, vomiting, fever, headache, joint pain, and confusion.
Anyone experiencing meningococcal-like symptoms is urged to see a primary care physician immediately.