Meningitis confirmed at a Kelowna high school - InfoNews

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Meningitis confirmed at a Kelowna high school

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November 28, 2016 - 3:54 PM

KELOWNA – A Kelowna high school student has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The bacterial infection affects the brain or blood and is transmitted through saliva, according to a letter the Interior Health Authority sent home with students on Friday, Nov. 25.

Although the risk of transmission is low, and cases in Canada are very rare, people close to the student with meningococcal disease will be monitored by the health authority's Communicable Disease Unit, according to the letter. The student's name hasn't been release and Interior Health isn't saying what school the student goes to.

“Close contacts are people who have been in contact with the saliva of a person who is sick through things like kissing or sharing items like water bottles, cigarettes, joints, straws, e-cigarettes, toothbrushes or any activity that involves swapping spit,” the release says. “You cannot catch this disease by being in the same room as a person with this illness and talking with them.”

Symptoms include sudden fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, a purplish rash, drowsiness or confusion and seizures.

For more information on meningitis please visit the HealthLinkBC website or contact your local health unit.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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