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Confirmed case of invasive meningococcal disease prompts public alert to potential exposure

February 27, 2018

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is following up with the public to alert them to a confirmed case of invasive meningococcal disease in a person who visited a drop-in music and story program at an Edmonton library while infectious.

Individuals who participated in the below program at the noted location on the date and in the time-period specified, may have been exposed:

February 21, 2018

Exposure Location: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn program, Lois Hole Public Library (17650 69 Avenue, Edmonton)

Exposure Time Period:  10:15 a.m. – 11 a.m.

This situation is very low risk to the general public and only those individuals who participated in the listed program in the above location during the timeframe noted may be at risk of exposure.

AHS asks that anyone who was present during that time, to please call Health Link at 811 as soon as possible for follow up and assessment.

ALL individuals who were in the above exposure location during the noted timeframe are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease from now until March 4, 2018. If symptoms do develop, these individuals are asked to seek the care of a physician as soon as possible and advise them that you have been exposed to case of invasive meningococcal disease.

Symptoms of the disease develop two to 10 days after exposure, but usually three to four days after, and may include:

  • sudden fever
  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • intense headache
  • vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • skin rash that spreads rapidly, beginning as reddish/purple spots that don’t disappear when pressed

Invasive meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and the infection is spread from one person to another through direct contact with the secretions of the nose and throat of an infected person.

To prevent spread of any illness, including meningitis, standard infection prevention measures are always recommended:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and warm water, including after using the washroom, and before preparing food.
  • Do not share items that come in contact with the mouth (including water bottles, drinks, cigarettes, utensils etc.).
  • Practice respiratory etiquette: cover your cough/sneeze with your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, discard immediately, and wash your hands thoroughly.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kirsten Goruk
AHS Communications
780.613.8823