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Meningococcal Disease

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Meningococcus is bacteria in a person’s airways, in their nose or throat. It’s also known as Neisseria meningititis. It can cause serious meningococcal diseases such as:

  • Meningitis: An infection of the membranes lining the brain and spinal cord.
  • Septicemia: An infection of the bloodstream. 

These are rare diseases (about 200 cases a year in Canada) that can progress quickly with serious consequences. 

Severe forms of these diseases can be deadly or can lead to long-term health complications. The sooner an infection is treated, the better outcome is possible. 

Vaccination provides the best protection against meningococcal infections.

In Canada, meningococcal infections occur mainly during the winter and spring months. Several types of meningococcus bacterium are circulating in Quebec, including serogroups B, C, W and Y. 

In Quebec, meningococcal infections are reported to Public Health authorities for close monitoring of the situation. (See “Public Health’s Role” tab below).

PLEASE NOTE: Secondary 4 and 5 students in the class of 2023 – 2024 will be offered a catch-up dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccines.

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