Meningitis vaccines being provided to about 45 people

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 3:49pm

As part of ongoing work in relation to a recent case of meningitis in the Halifax area, Public Health Services will provide a vaccine to more than 45 people who were in close contact with a person who developed the disease.
 
The strain of the bacteria that was responsible for the case of meningococcal disease was Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y. This strain is one that is not covered by routine childhood vaccines in Nova Scotia. However, there is a vaccine available for this particular bacteria strain.
 
As a precaution, Public Health will provide the vaccine to close contacts within the next week or so. This measure is meant to help prevent further spread of the disease in the long term, as evidence suggests that people who were in close contact with a person who developed meningitis have a greater risk of developing it in later months.
 
Details on the location and time will be provided to those who require the vaccine within the next few days.
 
All close contacts known to Public Health have also been offered antibiotics to prevent or stop the bacteria, should they have come in contact with it. Anyone concerned that they may have been directly exposed to the illness may speak with a public health nurse at 902-481-5800.
 
Capital Health has no additional cases of meningitis.
 
People who were not direct contacts of the individual who contracted meningitis are at no increased risk of developing the disease. However, members of the public may still choose to receive the vaccine. To do so, they should consult their family doctor, who may prescribe it. It can then be purchased at local pharmacies and administered by the prescribing doctor.  
 
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Media contact: Everton McLean, Senior Communications Advisor, Capital Health, 902-458-5376