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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.

For more information visit out page on Meningitis.  To book your appointment please contact us the Nova Travel Clinic.



The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has put into effect requirements and recommendations for those travelers travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj and/or Umra October 2-7, 2014.

There are currently travel restrictions for Pilgrims from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone; due to the current spread of Ebola virus in these countries pilgrims are banned from participating in this years Hajj and Umra,

Requirements for travelers 2 yrs and older arriving for Umra or Hajj or for seasonal work:  Meningitis vaccination (Menactra) issued within 3 years and not more than 10days of arrival in Saudi Arabia.  Those travelers entering from the African Meningitis belt countries will be give chemoprophylaxis upon arrival.

Requirement for all travelers regardless of vaccination history: Proof of Polio immunization between 4 weeks and 1 year prior to arrival is required from travelers arriving from: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen.  These travelers will also be given polio vaccine upon arrival.

Polio is also recommended for all travelers from polio-free countries.

Travellers arriving from countries at risk of Yellow Fever transmission:  Required to received Yellow Fever a minimum of 10 days prior to arrival and no more than 10 years at the border.

Influenza is recommended during flu season for all travelers.

Travellers who are elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant, chronically ill and children under 12 are recommended to postpone this year’s Hajj or Umra season for their own personal safety.