A 23- year- old gay man died of meningitis C in Toronto. Meningitis C is a meningococcal disease caused by bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. It occurs rarely in Canada and usually affects teenagers and infants.
This disease has a record of 10 to 15 per cent fatality and 20 per cent of the survivors suffer lasting health problems, such as deafness and mental retardation.
Public health officials are anxious that anyone who came in close contact with him might be infected.
The deceased is supposed to have visited Crews/Tango Bar, a gay and lesbian meeting place, on November 17 and 18. The officials fear that those who had contacted his saliva by sharing drinks, utensils, cigarettes or kissing should be concerned and should get vaccinated.
''If they were at the bar and sat in the corner and didn't share anything, they're not at risk,'' said Dr. Vinita Dubey of Toronto Public Health.
Symptoms to look for are sudden high fever, chills, severe headache, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck.They usually show up within 2 to 10 days after exposure.
So far, there have been no other reported cases and hence it is being treated as a single case and not as an outbreak.
The deceased was admitted with his first symptoms on Nov. 21, and died five days later.
An associate of the diseased reported that the victim was an immigrant from St. Lucia.