This disease is spiking in an Ontario city. But there’s a vaccine — if you can afford it – CBC

Currently, no provinces or territories cover the cost of the meningococcal B vaccine for all children

Mar 08, 2024

Can you put a price on protecting your children from a potentially deadly meningitis-causing bacterial infection?

Right now, it’s about $320 per child, unless you happen to have private insurance, for a two-dose vaccine recommended by public health officials in Kingston, Ont. — one of a handful of regions in Canada seeing a spike in local cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD).

IMD is a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection that can infect the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, and the bloodstream, causing septicemia.

Up to 10 per cent of people infected with IMD die, according to Health Canada, and complications include deafness, limb amputations and permanent brain damage. There are almost 200 cases in Canada per year on average.

Most IMD cases are caused by five types of bacteria: A, B, C, Y and W-135, though in Canada, group B causes most illness, according to the health department.

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