Interior Health says a recent diagnosis of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis in a single patient in Oliver is not connected to a larger outbreak last year in the community.

It made that determination with the assistance of the BC Centre for Disease Control and “there is no identified risk to the public of health care workers at this time,” the agency said in an information release Friday.

Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can result in many different types of illnesses, including ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and meningitis in the most severe cases.

Interior Health declared a meningitis outbreak and urged vaccinations last year after a dozen people were diagnosed with the illness, which claimed the life of an Oliver teenager.

The outbreak was declared over in December.

Nevertheless, Interior Health is encouraging those who may experience symptoms related to the disease — fever, headache, stiff neck, or vomiting — call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse, visit a doctor or nurse practitioner or visit a walk-in clinic.

If symptoms are severe, patients can also go to the local emergency department.

It is not suggesting vaccines and antibiotics for those who may have been in contact with this case.

Last year, almost 11,500 Okanagan youth aged 15-19 received immunizations administered during the outbreak, many of them at school clinics. Another 3,000 youth received the vaccine before the outbreak.

The best way to prevent the spread of bacteria is to wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially after coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and to seek medical attention if you are feeling unwell.


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