Toronto doctors urge vaccination amid spread of ‘killer’ disease – CBC

Teens, children, newcomers in particular at risk from invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), city says

Jun 29, 2024

The city’s public health unit and doctors are urging people to get vaccinated against a potentially fatal bacterial disease amid a rise in cases.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has reported 14 confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) so far this year, more than double the previous average of six cases per year.

“This is a substantial increase and we’re not even halfway through the year already,” Toronto’s associate medical officer of health Dr. Vinita Dubey said in an interview.

She also noted that a strain of the disease called W-135, which is not usually common in Canada, has already proven deadly.

“We’ve had one child and one adult who have died. These are very tragic deaths,” Dubey said.

IMD is a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection that can infect the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, and the bloodstream, causing septicemia. Teens and infants are most likely to become infected and up to 10 per cent of all patients with IMD die, according to Health Canada.

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