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Meningococcal disease immunizations expanded in South Okanagan

Immunization for meningococcal disease was stepped up for those between 15 to 24 years of age who frequent the Oliver area after a third person was discovered to have contracted the disease in October.
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November 17, 2017 - 3:38 PM

OLIVER - The discovery of a third case of meningococcal disease in the South Okanagan has prompted an expansion of the immunization program.

Interior Health says in a press release issued today, Nov. 17, immunization is advised for individuals between 15 and 24 years of age in the Oliver region.

The expansion includes people in the same age range from Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls who frequent the Oliver area.

The precautionary measure is being taken after Interior Health learned a third person contracted the disease in early October. The case is not a new one and there is no indication of sustained transmission of the bacteria in the community.

Last week immunizations were implemented after the discovery of two Oliver high school students with the disease.

The third individual did not attend South Okanagan Secondary but did have social ties to the school.

Interior Health says the risk is low but advises the immunizations for those in the 15 to 24 age group because the frequency of meningococcal disease is greater for this age group.

Meningococcal disease rarely occurs in Canada but can be contracted by direct contact with the secretions of the nose and throat of infected individuals, or by respiratory droplets. Symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomitting, stiff neck, rash, drowsiness or confusion and seizures.

Immunization clinics are being held Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4  p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oliver Health Centre.

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