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May 18, 2001
Meningitis alert issued by Public Health
  
Toronto Public Health today posted a Health Message advising the gay community
of a meningitis alert.

Two cases of meningitis resulting in death were reported this week. One was a
male aged 34 and the other was a male aged 38. The investigation of these cases
revealed a possible link to bathhouses or nightclubs in the gay community.

Investigations by Public Health staff are continuing and efforts have been made
to interview any individuals who may have been in close contact with the two
deceased men.

Meningitis can be prevented and normally responds well to antibiotic treatment.
The health message is directed to individuals who may have visited a Toronto
bathhouse in the period since May 1st. They are urged to see a doctor and watch
for signs or symptoms of the disease.

Meningitis is spread through saliva and secretions from an infected person's
nose or throat. For further information, see the Public Health Message below.


Important Health Message from Toronto Public Health

 Two cases of meningitis resulting in death were reported this week to Toronto
Public Health.

 Our investigation has revealed a possible link in both cases to bathhouses
and/or bars or nightclubs in the gay community.

 If you have been at a bathhouse in Toronto in the period since May 1st :
 you may be at risk of infection and may benefit from preventative medication
 to be effective, this medication should be taken as soon as possible - please
see a doctor and indicate you may have been in contact with a case of meningitis

 Signs and symptoms of meningitis may include:
 Fever
 Headache
 Vomiting
 Stiff neck
 Rash
 Drowsiness, or confusion
 Convulsions, or seizures

 Symptoms usually appear within two to ten days of exposure to the meningitis
bacteria. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right
away.

 Meningitis is spread through saliva or secretions from an infected person's
nose or throat. It may be spread by kissing on the mouth or by sharing of food
or food utensils, drinks, cigarettes or other items that have been in the mouth
of an infected person. Risk activity may include oral sex with multiple
partners within a few hours.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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