Anatomy of an epidemic- the multi-disciplinary, multi-agency response to the 2017 Meningococcal W outbreak in remote Central Australia

Mr David Carpenter1

1Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations, Alice Springs, Australia


In late 2017 there were 34 confirmed presentations of invasive serogroup W Meningococcal (MenW) infection in remote Central Australia, from a virtual zero baseline.  Many of the presentations were atypical, with multiple further suspected cases also managed and transferred to the regional referral centre for further assessment.  Although there were no associated fatalities, this presentation reviews both the impact and response to the outbreak from the aeromedical retrieval perspective, in conjunction with an initial and ongoing primary health-lead vaccination program.


David Carpenter RN RM is an Alice Springs-based Flight Nurse Midwife with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.