Mon July 30, 2012 7:01am
A SIX-YEAR-OLD Queensland boy is in a stable condition after being diagnosed with the potentially deadly meningococcal disease.
The Gympie boy was airlifted to Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital for treatment on Sunday.
Queensland Health has offered antibiotics to anyone who was in contact with the boy.
The state's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said meningococcal bacteria were spread via droplets from the nose or throat shed during coughing and sneezing.
But most people only contract the disease during prolonged contact with a carrier.
"It is important to emphasise that this is not a virus, and it does not spread easily," Dr Young said in a statement.
"Very few people go on to develop the disease, and most of these make a complete recovery."
She encouraged anyone who believed they were suffering symptoms - including fevers, headaches, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and rashes - to present themselves to health officials.
There have been 33 confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in Queensland this year.