N.S. public health reports student death from suspected meningococcal disease | Globalnews.ca

Nova Scotia public well being is investigating after a college pupil not too long ago died of a suspected case of meningococcal meningitis within the province’s western well being zone.

In a launch, Nova Scotia Health mentioned the scholar, who attended Saint Mary’s College in Halifax, died in hospital over the weekend. Public well being has recognized and contacted those that might have been uncovered to them, the discharge mentioned.

“Presently there isn’t a indication of elevated danger to most of the people or the Saint Mary’s College group,” mentioned Dr. Jesse Kancir, regional medical officer of well being, within the launch.

“Bacterial meningitis shouldn’t be unfold by informal contact, akin to sitting subsequent to or speaking with somebody who’s sick with the illness.”

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In a letter to college students Wednesday morning, Tom Brophy, SMU affiliate vice-president of pupil affairs and companies, introduced the scholar’s dying with a “heavy coronary heart.”

Brophy pressured “there isn’t a indication of elevated danger to most of the people or the college group” and mentioned public well being’s investigation didn’t contain any of the scholar residences.

The letter additionally included a listing of counselling and psychological well being helps out there to college students.

“I need to lengthen my deepest sympathy to the household and pals of this pupil and the whole thing of the Saint Mary’s College group impacted by this tragedy,” he mentioned.

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In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningococcal illness refers to an sickness brought on by a sort of micro organism referred to as Neisseria meningitidis.

Meningitis — infections of the liner of the mind and spinal twine — is likely one of the most typical sorts of meningococcal infections. Meningococcal infections could be “very critical and could be lethal in a matter of hours,” the CDC mentioned.

In its launch, Nova Scotia Well being mentioned the micro organism that may trigger meningococcal illness are unfold by direct secretions from the nostril and mouth. That is achieved by actions like kissing, sharing meals, drinks, water bottles, toothbrushes, consuming utensils, cigarettes and different smoking or vaping merchandise.

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Kancir mentioned Public Well being has been specializing in figuring out and contacting those that have been uncovered to they will obtain prophylactic antibiotics, and no different circumstances have been recognized at the moment.

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Nova Scotia doesn’t vaccinate against most common meningococcal meningitis strain

The discharge famous that there isn’t a vaccine that protects towards all causes of meningococcal meningitis, although the province’s vaccine program gives immunization towards the C pressure of the illness at 12 months of age, and the A, C, Y, and W strains as a part of the Grade 7 college immunization program.

“At the moment, the meningococcal B vaccine shouldn’t be a part of the publicly funded vaccine program in Nova Scotia however is accessible to those that are recognized as having shut contact with a meningococcal case or are at increased danger of meningococcal illness.”

Signs of meningococcal illness contains fever, headache, stiff neck, rash, sensitivity to gentle, and adjustments in stage of alertness. Anybody who turns into unwell with these signs is requested to hunt medical consideration instantly, the discharge mentioned.

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