Meningococcal Meningitis usually starts with mild flu-like symptoms that may also included neck pain, fever, headaches and vomiting. Symptoms generally worsen rapidly. This infection can be fatal, affecting the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Survivors can experience permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, limb loss and paralysis.
Most students travelling to University are recommended or required to receive the Meningococcal vaccine. Individuals living in close quarters such as dormitories or involved in sports teams are at a higher incidence risk for the disease. Travellers heading to the Hajj/Umrah or to the meningitis belt of sub-Saharan Africa are also recommended to received the vaccine.
Meningococcal meningitis is spread through close and prolonged contact with an infected person. It is spread through contact with saliva or through inhalation of tiny droplets released from an infected person when they cough or sneeze. Risk factors include: sharing utensils, sharing water bottles or cigarettes, kissing, and those frequenting large crowded areas.
There are vaccines available to protect you! Nova Travel Clinic carries Menactra which protects against meningococcal disease caused by strains A,C,Y and W135. This vaccine can be given to persons 9 months to 55 years of age. We also carry the new vaccine available in Canada called Bexsero for protection against meningococcal disease caused by the B strain. Prevention is the best strategy against meningococcal disease.