Updated 26 March 2019
Case of meningococcal infection in Montréal – Serogroup identified
A young woman died on March 23 after contracting meningococcal infection. As a result, Montréal’s regional public health department has conducted an epidemiological investigation and identified close contacts.
Montréal’s public health department has reached and evaluated over 100 people to identify those who met the definition of close contact, and so needed preventive treatment. All these individuals have now been given antibiotics. In addition, laboratory analyses confirmed today that it is serogroup B bacteria. Therefore Bexsero vaccine, which protects against this serogroup, will be offered to close contacts to complete preventive treatment.
Transmission of meningococcal infection
Close contacts are defined as
- people living under the same roof;
- people who have had sexual contact with the person concerned;
- people who have been in direct contact with respiratory secretions of the person affected (deep kissing).
Meningococcal infection can spread though respiratory secretions; however the bacteria isn’t as contagious as germs that cause colds, the flu or illnesses like measles. It does not spread simply by breathing the air where someone who is sick has been, or through superficial contact like hugging someone who is infected or kissing this person on the cheek.
Protection and prevention
In this situation, public health does not recommend specific preventive treatment to people who do not meet the definition of close contact. However, the department would like to remind the public that it is important to get all basic vaccines listed Québec’s immunization protocol. People who have not gotten all their vaccines can update their vaccination coverage by making an appointment in their CIUSSS or at a medical clinic offering this service.
If you are worried about your health or the health of a loved one, call Info-Santé au 8-1-1.
In the media
- Isabelle Maréchal - 98.5FM - Entrevue avec Mylène Drouin, directrice régionale de santé publique de Montréal