BCHU Receives Lab Confirmation of a Case of Invasive Meningococcal Disease

Published on: December 23, 2022

BRANTFORD, ON – The Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) has received lab confirmation of a case of invasive meningococcal disease. The case is currently hospitalized.

BCHU’s case and contact management team has notified all individuals considered a high-risk contact to the initial case. There have been no secondary cases or spread associated with the affected individual, at this time.

Invasive meningococcal disease is an uncommon, serious bacterial infection. It can lead to:

  • meningitis, a dangerous infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and/or
  • septicemia, a serious blood infection.

Invasive meningococcal disease is spread through close, direct contact such as:

  • living in close living quarters
  • kissing, coughing or sneezing
  • sharing food or drinks
  • sharing toothbrushes, mouthguards, cigarettes, vapes or lipstick
  • sharing mouthed toys, or musical instruments with a mouthpiece

It is important to note that the bacteria is not spread through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been.

As a precaution, residents are asked to be aware of symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease.

 Symptoms develop two to 10 days (usually three to four days) after exposure and include:

  • sudden fever
  • drowsiness
  • irritability or fussiness
  • intense headache
  • vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • a skin rash that spreads rapidly and begins as reddish/purplish spots that don’t disappear when pressed

Influenza also increases risk of rare, harmful events associated with invasive meningococcal disease. All those who have not yet received a flu shot are encouraged to receive one through their local pharmacy or primary healthcare provider.

If you develop the symptoms of invasive meningococcal meningitis, see your health care provider immediately and inform them of your symptoms before arriving to prevent infecting others.

Please contact BCHU at 519-753-4937 ext. 454 if you have any questions or concerns.