Kelowna student recovering after meningitis scare

Interior Health says it was a rare case and is not expecting to see more in the community

  • Nov. 29, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema.

A student who contracted meningitis at a Kelowna high school is recovering and health officials say they aren’t expecting to see any more cases of the disease related to the student.

The high school student was diagnosed last week with meningitis, caused by meningococcal disease, and a letter was sent out to parents informing them of the situation, despite a low risk of it spreading.

Interior Health says this is the second case of meningitis reported in the Interior Health region this year. A normal year would see between two and five cases diagnosed.

“The people that were at risk and in contact with this particular person have all been identified and have been offered antibiotics,” said Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema. “We have identified who is at risk and have dealt with it, so we are not expecting any more cases. The risk is very low.”

Meningitis presents with symptoms of high fever, headache, stiff neck and drowsiness but Mema said there was nothing to indicate that the disease is circulating in the community.

“This is a single case; we are not talking about an outbreak or a cluster,” she said. “What we know is that up to 10 per cent of teenagers can carry the bacteria but less than one per cent will develop any disease from it. It’s common to have the disease among teenagers and that’s probably because they share water bottles and are in close contact with each other.”

Mema said the regular vaccination schedule in B.C. covers meningococcal disease and its various strains but added not even vaccinations can be 100 per cent effective.

“The vaccines cover the most common strains and that’s great because we’ve eliminated the most common strains,” said Mema. “We don’t them as much as before but that means the strains that are not covered by the vaccine begin to emerge. Being immunized is the best way to protect yourself against meningitis.”

A new vaccine against four different meningococcal strains is being introduced this year for Grade 9 students, according to Mema.

 

Just Posted

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

2014 murder case finally goes to trial

Steven Randy Pirko was charged with second-degree murder in 2016

Flood recovery work set to begin in Kelowna

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Accused in Kelowna murder heads to court

Chad Alphonse is accused of killing Waylon Percy Junior Jackson, back in 2016

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Song penned for Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Curling Time released to celebrate Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Most Read