Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Strang confirmed on Feb. 11 that a second Acadia University student has meningococcal meningitis. The student is in hospital and recovering.
On Feb. 13, he confirmed that the second case is the B strain of the disease, which is the same as the first Acadia case. Two cases of the same strain of meningococcal meningitis in one location, such as a university campus, constitutes an institutional outbreak.
In response, Public Health held vaccination clinics for the first dose of the vaccine in late February and early March. The clinics for the second dose will take place in Fountain Commons on March 30, 31, and April 1 from 12-8 pm, and on April 8 and 9 from 12-4 pm. Vaccinations are for all students, and for staff who have certain rare health conditions.
Dr. Strang reminds people that even with this latest diagnosis, the risk of getting the disease remains low in the general public, and that basic precautions can help keep people healthy and prevent the spread of the illness.
Anyone with severe symptoms should go to an emergency department or call 911. If unsure, call 811 for advice.
Meningococcal Meningitis is an infection that is spread by direct contact with secretions from the nose and mouth of an infected person. The infection can be in the blood (meningococcemia) or in the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
Anyone can get bacterial meningitis. It is spread by direct contact with secretions from the nose and mouth through activities such as kissing, sharing food, drinks, water bottles, toothbrushes, eating utensils or cigarettes.
Symptoms may include:
Anyone with these symptoms should seek prompt medical attention.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. If symptoms occur, contact your family doctor or visit the nearest emergency department to you immediately.
Only those who have had close contact with someone diagnosed with bacterial meningitis needs further assessment. A close contact may be defined as:
Bacterial meningitis is not spread by sitting next to someone, talking with someone, being in the same room with someone who has the illness or by simply breathing the air in a room where the person has been.