An elderly West Australian has been struck down by meningococcal disease and is currently in a WA hospital.
The WA Department of Health revealed the news on Friday.
The person has been diagnosed with the serogroup Y strain of the disease.
Meningococcal disease is a rare, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain.
This is just the fifth case of meningococcal in WA so far this year, and the second involving the serogroup Y strain.
There were only 10 cases of the disease recorded in WA last year, and thankfully no deaths.
There are two types of meningococcal vaccines available: one protects against four serogroups of the meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W and Y) and the other protects against serogroup B.
The MenACWY vaccine is offered free to all children at 12 months of age, and is offered to all year 10 students.
In addition, the MenACWY vaccine is offered to all Year 10 students, with a free catch-up program for 15-19 year-olds.
Due to a higher rate of meningococcal disease in Aboriginal children in WA, the MenACWY vaccine is offered free to Aboriginal children from age 6 weeks to 12 months of age.
The menB vaccine is free for all Aboriginal children aged up to 2 years of age. Both these vaccines are also free for people of all ages with certain medical risk conditions.
Meningococcal bacteria are not easily spread from person-to-person.
The bacterium is present in droplets discharged from the nose and throat when coughing or sneezing, but is not spread by saliva and does not survive more than a few seconds in the environment.
With appropriate treatment, most people with the disease recover, although around 5 to 10 per cent will die and around 15 per cent may experience long-term complications such as hearing loss, limb amputations or brain damage.