IH declares outbreak over

UPDATED: 11:23 a.m.

Over the span of a two-month declared outbreak of meningococcal disease, Interior Health provided more than 11,400  immunizations — the highest number of total immunizations given as part of an Interior Health-declared outbreak. 

“A large proportion of the high-risk population is now protected against meningococcal disease, which will greatly reduce the likelihood of future cases of this disease,” stated Dr. Silvina Mema, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health.

Over 14,000 Okanagan residents aged 15-19 are now protected against meningococcal disease. 

During the outbreak, Interior Health worked closely with school officials and community stakeholders in the Okanagan, which it credits for quickly establishing a response to the outbreak. 

"Interior Health’s response to the outbreak has been significant—arranging thousands of doses of vaccine transported from across Canada, scheduling hundreds of clinics to offer immunizations throughout the Okanagan and partnering with local pharmacies as another option for individuals to access vaccine."

Immunization Stats

  • 16,687 –Total number of doses of vaccine brought to the Okanagan
  • 14,503 – Total number of eligible residents who have received the Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine before or during the outbreak (11,417 received vaccine during the outbreak)
  • 2,185 – Most immunizations on a single day (December 19, 2017)
  • 68.3 per cent – Percentage of target population immunized
  • 73 –Total immunization clinics held at secondary and post-secondary schools in December and January
  • 8,210 –Total number of students immunized at school clinics

ORIGINAL: 10:50 a.m.

Exactly two months later Interior Health has declared an end to the meningococcal outbreak throughout the Okanagan.

“The Office of the Provincial Health Officer and BC Centre for Disease Control have been working closely with Interior Health since the start of the outbreak,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry Provincial Health Officer. “We commend Interior Health’s efforts and collaboration with local communities to expand immunization which played a critical role in preventing the spread of this devastating disease and ending the outbreak.”

On Dec. 14, after an increased number of meningococcal diagnosis over a six-month period, Interior Health in consultation with the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Provincial Health Officer, declared an Okanagan-wide meningitis outbreak affecting 15 to 19 year olds.

There have been no new cases since Dec. 28, 2017.

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