Terrifying disease lecture open to public

10 May 2013

The latest information on meningococcal meningitis, its treatment and prevention will be discussed at a free public lecture at The University of Auckland later this month.

Two of New Zealand’s leading researchers will detail clinical experiences and the latest medical research in the lecture, ‘Meningococcal meningitis: a terrifying disease’, organised by the Auckland Medical Research Foundation.

Dr Mark Thomas is an Infectious Disease Physician at Auckland City Hospital, and an Associate Professor in Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at The University of Auckland. He will share the podium with Dr David Galler, a Senior Intensive Care Specialist at Middlemore Hospital.

The free public lecture will be held on Thursday 23rd May at 7pm in The University of Auckland Medical School AMRF Auditorium at 85 Park Road, Grafton.

Meningococcal meningitis is a terrifying disease which can kill previously healthy people within a matter of hours. The bacterium responsible for this disease, Neisseria meningitis , is commonly present on the surface of the throat, where it usually causes no problems at all.

In a very small minority of people who get throat colonisation of the bacterium, the organism can invade first the blood and then the fluid around the brain, causing septicaemia and meningitis.

Early diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis and treatment with penicillin has dramatically reduced the risk of death, but a small proportion of people who develop this disease die from it.

This lecture will discuss one such tragedy and our current understanding of the disease and its treatment and prevention.

More information can be found at www.medicalresearch.org.nz