Renewed health warnings as third case of meningococcal linked to Splendour In The Grass

It comes after a Sydney man in his forties died from the disease last week

New South Wales Health have reported a third probable case of meningococcal disease linked to Splendour In The Grass.

The case — reported by health authorities on Friday (August 12) — is a child from the North Coast who attended the Byron Bay festival last month.

As per NSW Health’s statement “we are urging people and their close contacts who attended the event … to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and act immediately if they appear.”

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Symptoms of meningococcal include sudden fever, headaches, joint pain, neck stiffness and rash that appears as red-purple spots or bruises. While the disease is uncommon, NSW Health warns that “it can be severe”. People carrying the bacteria can be asymptomatic but still pass it on to close contacts.

The first two cases of the disease linked to Splendour were reported by NSW Health earlier this month. One was a Sydney man in his forties who died from the disease.

On August 6, a representative for Splendour In The Grass told NME that organisers had been working with NSW Health authorities and had informed all event staff and volunteers.

“Attendees who purchased tickets have been emailed the NSW Health announcement,” they said. “NSW Health has urged all attendees to be alert for the symptoms and contact a doctor immediately should they present.” Those seeking more information should visit NSW Health, the festival added.

There have now been 17 cases of meningococcal in New South Wales this year. According to NSW Health, children under five and those in the 15-25 age bracket are at greatest risk of contracting the disease. Meningococcal is vaccine-preventable, with the ACWY (Men ACWY) available for free to babies at 12 months, adolescents and people of all ages with certain medical conditions.

This year’s Splendour In The Grass took place from July 22 to 24, with rain wreaking havoc on the multi-day event. All mainstage performances on the festival’s first day were cancelled, with acts such as Yungblud and Renforshort, Confidence Man and Baker Boy, and Wet Leg and The Lazy Eyes playing make-up shows in Byron and surrounds.

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Artists who were affected by the cancellation are set to receive a “goodwill payment” through Splendour’s parent company, Secret Sounds.

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