Concerns of a potential outbreak of meningitis have been raised as health officials report a second case of bacterial meningitis at the University of Acadia in Nova Scotia.
The Province will begin a targeted vaccination program for students if the sample of meningitis comes back as the same B strain contracted by a female student who died earlier this month.
Nova Scotia health officials have reported a total of four cases of meningitis this year including a student at St. Francis Xavier University who did recover. The last fatality was reported in 2002.
In Canada the most common cases of meningococcal disease are due to serogroup B.
Meningococcal disease is serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, which can lead to serious illnesses like meningitis and infections of the bloodstream. Meningitis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the brain. Symptoms usually develop 2 to 10 days after exposure. Invasive meningococcal disease is spread through close contact with others such as: living in closer quarters, kissing, sharing food or drinks etc.
The fatal strains of meningococcal disease are caused by strains A,B,C,Y and W-135. These strains are vaccine preventable. The best way to protect yourself is through vaccination. The vaccine for meningococcal C is routinely given in Canada as part of your child’s immunization schedule. Meningococcal B vaccine is new and is not yet provided as part of routine immunization schedules.
For more information see our page: Meningitis