Meningitis Canada Urges Policy Makers to Help Defeat Meningitis
WATERLOO, Ontario, April 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This World Meningitis Day (April 24th), Meningitis Foundation Canada (MFC) is raising awareness of this ‘indiscriminate killer disease’ and calling on all Canadian provincial and territorial policymakers to act to #DefeatMeningitis by 2030.
“This call aligns with the newly ratified ‘Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030’,” said MFC spokesperson, Michael Redfearn. The newly ratified ‘Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis’ is led by a WHO-multi-organization partnership.
Understandably, countries worldwide are focused on COVID-19. Tragically, the pandemic also threatens to bring back diseases that we can largely prevent, like meningitis. The pandemic has caused disruptions in immunization services and once many people are vaccinated and able to gather again, the number of cases of infectious diseases like meningitis are expected to rise.
Dr. Joanne Langley, infectious disease physician and MFC senior medical advisor, says, “The pandemic has helped the world realize the life-saving potential of vaccines. While we focus on providing access to COVID-19 vaccines, it is important to remember to keep up to date on all immunizations so that we are protected against meningitis, blood infections, pneumonia and many other serious illnesses.”
In honor of World Meningitis Day, the CN Tower will display the green, blue, and teal colours of the MFC logo, to draw attention to a deadly though vaccine preventable disease. As it does most evenings, beginning at sunset, a standard light show from the CN Tower will run for 8 minutes at the top of every hour, followed by another light show on the half hour. The night lighting will be visible by webcam on the CN Tower website.
Meningitis is a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, which result from infection by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe type and is a medical emergency. It can strike quickly, be difficult to diagnose, and can lead to death in a matter of hours. Even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, approximately 10% of patients die and up to 20% or more sustain permanent damage and disability such as loss of limbs, deafness, and cognitive impairment. There are effective vaccines now available to protect against many of the bacteria that cause meningitis and septicemia.