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Escalating Invasive Meningococcal Disease Cases Cause Alarm

Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)

United States: Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) has become a major health threat. The increasing cases linked to the bacterial infection have prompted health officials and experts to issue a warning. According to health officials, the disease can result in meningitis.

While explaining the dangers associated with the disease, experts have mentioned that the disease can cause meningitis, which causes severe brain and spinal cord inflammation. It is to be noted that the infection is potentially fatal.

Threats associated with the infection!

As per the reports, the sudden surge in the infections have been seen in Manitoba recently. The increased cases were also seen in Ontario. The surge in the activity has been only seen during this year.

Reportedly, since 2002, Toronto Public Health has reported the highest number of recorded infections.

Statement by Medical Officers!

Dr Carol Kurbis – the Medical Officer of Health of Manitoba has mentioned that as of mid-December 2023, the province has been reporting approximately six cases annually. Since then, Manitoba has recorded 19 cases, out of which 18 were of W-strain. Additionally, she mentioned that similar rise in the number of cases was seen in other jurisdictions also.

Additionally, she mentioned that she is not sure about the driving force of the infection. During an interview, she mentioned, “Sometimes we see an increase in these types of infections post-pandemic or around respiratory virus seasons that are high,” reported the interview was conducted on CTV Morning Live Winnipeg.

Symptoms of the disease:

The symptoms linked to the disease can vary and come on rapidly. Some of the infected people witnesses meningitis – with a stiff neck, along with a rash which is purplish. Other symptoms observed were nausea or vomiting, and sepsis-type symptoms, leading an infection in their bloodstream.

Kurbis stated, “People get very sick. High fevers, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and it progresses quite rapidly during the day,” adding, “It’s not a mild presentation.” Further she highlighted that around one in ten people feel the meningococcal bacteria in the back of their throats.

“But every now and then, someone will develop a more invasive disease with presentations like that that can be quite serious,” she was quoted saying.

Vaccines against Meningococcal Disease

The health experts have mentioned that two types of vaccines have been created against meningococcal. Out of the two, one only targets strain B and the second targets A, C, Y and W strain.

The vaccine is administrated to the children at the age of 12 months and 10 years during an immunization program. She was quoted saying, “We follow the national recommendations and up until now, we were just immunizing the younger infants with C, but once we saw that the W strain was increasing here in the province, we changed that just earlier this year to make sure we’re covering all the infants for quadrivalent, as well.”

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