World Meningitis Day in Kitimat

Thursday, April 24 is World Meningitis Day and Kitimat is joining the effort to raise awareness about the disease, its symptoms, and prevention through vaccination.

Meningitis mimics the flu and is often misdiagnosed, since early symptoms begin mildly (e.g. fever and headache). The infection progresses rapidly, and if left untreated, a previously healthy young adolescent or adult will die within 24-48 hours.

Currently, B.C. children are only vaccinated against one strain meningococcal meningitis. However, the MCV4 vaccine protects against four strains of this deadly disease and is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

World Meningitis Day has special meaning to Kitimat’s Brian and Janet Munro. They lost their 23-year-old son Bradley to meningitis on November 4, 2011. He was in his final month of university when he became ill with the disease. It took his life within 24 hours.

Now, the Munros and other Kitimatians are working to raise awareness that vaccination is the ONLY protection. For more information on the “Give B.C. Kids the MCV4 Shot” campaign, please visit www.meningitisbc.org.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan signing a proclamation for World Meningitis Day. Pictured behind (left to right): Councillor Rob Goffinet, Eleanor Kendell, Donna Dueck, Monica Craft, Janet Munro, Brian Munro.