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Saint Mary’s student dies from suspected meningococcal meningitis

Nova Scotia Public Health said there is no increased risk to the public

1 min read
caption A Saint Mary's University student died of suspected meningitis over the weekend
Hannah Marais

Nova Scotia Public Health says a student at Saint Mary’s University died in hospital on the weekend from a suspected case of meningococcal meningitis.

In a news release Wednesday, Dr. Jesse Kancir, regional medical officer of health, said there is currently no increased risk to the public or to the Saint Mary’s community.

“Bacterial meningitis is not spread through casual contact, such as sitting next to or talking with someone who is sick with the disease,” said Kancir.

Public Health says officials have contacted the student’s recent close contacts. No other cases have been identified at this time.

Meningococcal meningitis is spread through secretions from the nose and mouth through kissing or sharing food, drinks or cigarettes, according to the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Some meningitis vaccines are available through the provincial vaccine program, but there is no vaccine that protects against all causes of meningococcal meningitis.

Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and changes in alertness.

Public Health recommends seeking immediate medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms.

Every year there are 100 to 400 cases of meningococcal disease across Canada, according to Meningitis Foundation Canada.

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