A child who attended Splendour In The Grass has contracted meningococcal in the third probable case linked to the festival. NSW Health is asking festivalgoers, plus their close contacts, to continue monitoring for symptoms.

This case comes after two attendees contracted the disease earlier this month. Sadly, one of these cases includes a Sydney man in his 40s who died from the illness.

How many probable cases of meningococcal have been linked to Splendour in the Grass?

There are now three probable cases of meningococcal linked to Splendour in the Grass.

In a public health alert released on Friday August 12, NSW Health said it had been notified of “a probable case of meningococcal disease in a child from the North Coast” who attended the festival.

What are the symptoms of meningococcal?

According to NSW Health, meningococcal is spread “between people in the secretions from the back of the nose and throat” through prolonged contact, like living in the same household or via kissing.

The symptoms of meningococcal 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

In kiddos, different symptoms may present. Those include:

  • irritability
  • difficulty walking
  • high-pitched crying
  • refusing to ear

When people have meningococcal, they might not present all the symptoms at once. People aged under five and between 15-25 are most at risk.

What has NSW Health said about meningococcal?

NSW Health is asking anyone who went to Splendour In The Grass last month, and their close contacts, to look out for symptoms of meningococcal.

Although the disease is uncommon, it can be severe, so we are urging people and their close contacts who attended the event in the North Byron Parklands on 21 – 24 July to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and act immediately if they appear,” it said in its most recent public health alert. 

“People can carry meningococcal bacteria in their throats and not have symptoms, but pass it to close contacts.”

Splendour In The Grass drew in crowds of up to 50,000 every day in 2022.

As a general rule, meningococcal is usually quite uncommon thanks to widespread childhood vaccination. There have been 17 cases of meningococcal this year in NSW, with the disease known to increase in the later stages of winter and early spring.

If you want more information or are concerned, you can call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055. Be safe and if you suspect you have symptoms, go see a doctor immediately.

Image: Getty / Marc Grimwade