Meningococcal claims NSW toddler’s life

The two-year-old boy identified only as Ryder had Down syndrome and also suffered from a heart condition. 

It was reported that he had been unwell since Tuesday. By Thursday morning, he had been airlifted to John Hunter Hospital after his symptoms became severe.

His mother told Nine News her son "put up one hell of a fight".

It’s the first death and fourth case of meningococcal disease recorded in the Hunter New England region this year, the NSW health department said.

There were 11 confirmed cases in the region last year.

Public Health physician Dr David Durrheim said the disease was diagnosed by PCR but the serotype is not yet known.

“This takes some time in the reference lab if the culture is successful,” he told MO

Close contacts of Ryder have been prescribed antibiotics and his death has not been linked to any previous cases, the Newcastle Herald reported.