Because the disease appeared to be prevalent in teenagers, this six month case review was conducted, limited to patients aged 15-19. The review found 15 cases; of the 7 presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms, 5 died within 24 hours of presenting to hospital.
The likelihood of a case of Group W meningococcal septicaemia presenting to Sunderland (or indeed anywhere) is still small, but the case series makes for harrowing reading.
As far as what we do with this information on a day to day basis, I’m not sure. After all, there are lots of well looking teenagers with GI upset who look well simply because they are, but early diagnosis is clearly vital.
Finally, the public health response is quite interesting to read about, as an insight into a specialty I know little about.