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Talk to a Canadian licensed doctor about meningitis B today!

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EVEN IF YOUR CHILD RECEIVED A MENINGITIS
VACCINE, THEY MAY BE MISSING COVERAGE
FOR MENINGITIS B*

The five most common types/strains of the bacteria that cause invasive meningococcal diseases (IMD) are A, B, C, W135 and Y. In Canada, strain B was responsible for the most cases of IMD*. But since vaccines against meningitis B have only been available since 2014, it may not have been included in your child’s routine immunization schedule.

* Meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B strains.

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Serogroup B was responsible for the most cases of IMD in Canada from 2011 through 2015.*

* Based on most recent data available.
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In Canada, from 2011 to 2015, the incidence rate of IMD (per 100,000 population) was the highest among infants younger than 1 year of age, followed by children 1 to 4 years of age, and adolescents 15 to 19 years of age.

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Although most people recover, even with appropriate treatment, up to 1 in 10 cases can be fatal, often within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.

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Up to 1 in 5 IMD survivors may experience lifelong complications such as hearing loss, mental disabilities or limb loss.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
ABOUT MENINGITIS B

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WHAT IS MENINGITIS B?

Meningitis B is a meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. Serogroup B, along with four other strains of N. meningitidis, are responsible for the majority of invasive meningococcal disease cases in Canada.

What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms can be hard to notice because they begin mildly—similar to those of a cold or the flu. However, symptoms can progress quickly and may include:

  • Headache
  • Sudden fever
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness

Other symptoms may include: Cold chills, feeling tired, vomiting or diarrhea, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, a dark purple rash.

It can be even harder to notice these symptoms in babies and they may not appear at all. Instead, a baby may become slow or inactive, be irritable or vomit.

Invasive meningococcal disease can become fatal within a matter of hours after the onset of symptoms.

How is meningitis B transmitted?

The bacteria that causes meningitis B lives in the nose and throat and is spread from one person to another by contact. They can be spread easily through everyday behaviours, including:

  • Coughing & sneezing
  • Sharing drinks & eating utensils
  • Kissing
  • Living in close quarters

Is your child missing coverage against meningitis B?

The vaccines most children receive cover strains/types A, C, W135 and Y, not meningitis B. That’s because meningitis B vaccines weren’t available until 2014 and have not yet been added to the routine vaccination schedule in Canada.

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MENINGITIS B FAQS

Meningococcal disease is caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. Meningitis B, along with four other strains of N. meningitidis are responsible for the majority of invasive meningococcal disease cases in Canada.

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Invasive meningococcal disease is an infection of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and/or blood poisoning (sepsis). Up to 1 in 10 cases can be fatal, often within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.

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Meningitis B can lead to meningitis and/or blood poisoning.

Meningitis symptoms may include:

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Sudden onset of headache
  • Sudden onset of stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

Blood poisoning symptoms may include:

  • Fever or cold chills
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest, or belly (abdomen)
  • Rapid breathing
  • A dark purple rash

Sometimes IMD symptoms can be hard to identify because they begin mildly and can be mistaken for the flu. That’s why vaccination is the best way to prevent meningitis B.

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Although most people recover, up to 1 in 10 people who get invasive meningococcal disease which can be caused by serogroup B die and up to 1 in 5 of those who survive may experience lifelong complications, such as hearing loss, mental disabilities or require limb amputation.

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In Canada since 2007, group B strains have caused almost 60% of cases for an average of 111 cases per year. Between the years of 2011 to 2015, most cases of IMD occurred in children under 5 years of age.

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Yes! The bacteria that cause meningitis B are passed from an infected person (including people who don’t have any symptoms) to another person through close or direct contact such as kissing, coughing and sneezing. Transmission can also occur through saliva when sharing items such as cigarettes, lipstick, food and drinks. It can also be passed between people due to lengthy contact, like living in the same household as someone who is carrying the bacteria.

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People of all ages can be infected.

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Meningitis or blood poisoning caused by strain B bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Although most people recover, even with quick and appropriate treatment, up to 1 in 10 of infected people will die. Of those who survive, up to 1 in 5 may experience lifelong complications, such as hearing loss, limb amputation or mental disabilities.

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Yes, getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent meningitis B.

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Since meningitis B vaccines weren’t available until 2014, it has not been added to the routine vaccination schedule in Canada yet.

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Do you have questions for a doctor about meningitis B?

You can connect and chat with a Canadian licensed doctor within minutes to ask about the disease and preventive options, free of charge.

Ask about meningitis B vaccination for your child at their next appointment. ×

ASK ABOUT MENINGITIS B
VACCINATION FOR YOUR CHILD AT
THEIR NEXT APPOINTMENT.