September 21, 2023
Province, universities start work on meningitis security plan

Public well being takes first steps towards plan to forestall additional campus unfold

Nova Scotia’s high physician has begun working with post-secondary establishments within the province to attempt to stop future meningitis B outbreaks in college residences.

Chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang made the announcement through the legislature’s well being committee assembly on Thursday when requested about necessary vaccinations.

“We’ll work collectively to extend consciousness of who is definitely at an elevated danger, the supply of a vaccine and likewise when the suitable timing of when that vaccine will likely be,” Strang stated.

In December, Nova Scotia Public Well being declared an outbreak of the illness in a Dalhousie College residence that resulted within the demise of 1 scholar and the hospitalization of one other.

Previously 19 months, two different college students have died from the illness in different universities within the province, resulting in complaints from family members about security precautions on the faculties and public well being.

Meningitis B transmits by means of contact with bodily fluids, and spreads extra rapidly when folks share a residing atmosphere or are in shut contact, making college dorms and school rooms excessive danger places for transmission, in response to Nova Scotia Well being.

At the moment, the meningitis B vaccine will not be a part of the routine publicly funded vaccine program in Nova Scotia however is out there to those that could have are available shut contact or are thought-about in danger.

Strang stated the province depends on steerage from the Nationwide Advisory Committee of Immunization (NACI) concerning public vaccinations. At the moment, NACI doesn’t suggest providing the vaccine to most of the people as there may be restricted proof of its effectiveness.

“It’s a uncommon illness and it might probably have deadly penalties,” Strang stated.

For meningitis B, “it’s a totally different sort of vaccine, there are various totally different sub-strains and never all of them are protected by the vaccine.”

Strang stated attributable to its many variants, getting the meningitis B vaccine can not guarantee a person will keep away from the particular pressure of the illness which may be spreading at the moment.

So as to fight the virus, Strang stated public well being should create a centered and focused program with the colleges that may assist stop the virus and reduce the monetary boundaries that include its vaccine.

A full two-dose vaccination for meningitis B in Nova Scotia prices about $300.

Throughout Thursday’s proceedings, Halifax Atlantic MLA Brendan Maguire questioned the province’s steerage underneath NACI concerning public vaccinations.

Maguire requested why the province doesn’t take NACI’s suggestions to fund separate vaccinations comparable to shingles or the flu vaccine for seniors, however does select to take NACI’s recommendation in opposition to basic public vaccinations for meningitis B.

“Proposals have been developed for the 2 different vaccines you might have talked about and they’re definitely persevering with to be thought-about together with a complete vary of others,” Strang stated.

“It is going to be college students who will likely be coming into college, first 12 months, probably solely these residing in residence, that’s who we would want to give attention to and the way we’d work with that group. These conversations will likely be ongoing.”

Brad Chandler

Brad Chandler

Brad Chandler is an aspiring video journalist from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with a particular curiosity in sports activities reporting and broadcasting. He has beforehand labored as a reporter for The Inverness Oran newspaper in Cape Breton since 2020 and now acts as a Media Correspondent for the U18 Cape Breton West Islanders hockey program.

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