Acadia University meningitis cases prompt info session
Hope Maryka's illness marks 4th case of meningitis confirmed in Nova Scotia in a month
Students at Acadia University in Wolfville met with Nova Scotia's Chief public health officer Wednesday night to get more information about safety precautions on campus, now that a second case of meningitis has been discovered at the school.
Public Health officials say first year student Hope Maryka is now recovering in hospital, but there's concern on campus this could signal an outbreak.
About 40 students gathered on campus Wednesday, raising their hand with questions. Maryka's rugby teammates worried they may have been exposed after sharing water bottles during practice.
University President Ray Ivany says that worry is shared by many.
"There's concern. I mean, it's a serious illness. So there's concern but you know even the session we had tonight, I think students want to get the info and then they're going to take whatever precautions they need to," he says.
This is the second case of meningitis on campus this month. On Feb. 1, first-year business student Sarah Hastings died after contracting the disease.
Kristin MacKinnon is also a first year student.
"Just everyone's kinda nervous and has questions, but no one really wants to ask the questions," she says.
The province says if they can determine the two students had the same strain of meningitis, they'll roll out a vaccination program on campus.
But fourth-year student Dakota Lloyd didn't want to wait and paid $150 out of pocket for the shot.
"I'm immunocompromised, so I decided to just go and get vaccinated because it just seemed like it would made sense to go and get vaccinated. But that's my personal decision," she says.
Public Health officials say it will take about 48 hours for them to know the results from this latest case. They say they'll know by Friday if this is an outbreak.