Meningitis is an infection of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Viral meningitis is an infection caused by viruses and bacterial meningitis is an infection caused by bacteria. Bacterial meningitis, such as Meningococcal Meningitis and Meningococcemia, are rare but serious infections caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash
  • Feeling unwell

The bacteria spread from person to person by direct saliva contact. Both Meningococcal Meningitis and Meningococcemia are treated with antibiotics.

Meningococcal Vaccine

Vaccines are available that protect against some strains of Meningococcal bacteria.

Menactra, the Meningococcal vaccine, is available for free, to all Grade 7 students in Ontario. Public Health offers this vaccine in elementary schools across Waterloo Region.

Menactra protects against Meningococcal types A, C, Y and W-135. Menactra is a mandatory vaccine for school attendance in Waterloo Region.

View the schedule to see when Public Health will be at your school.

If you are unable to attend a community clinic, contact your healthcare provider.

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