HALIFAX – A student at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. has died from a case of bacterial meningitis.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, confirmed the female student died Sunday after being taken to hospital when she was found unresponsive in her dorm room on Saturday.
The news comes a week after Sackville High school student Rylee Sears died from a meningitis strain the province has not previously vaccinated against.
READ MORE: Nova Scotia to vaccinate against meningitis strain that killed Sackville teen
Health officials said there was no link between the Acadia student’s case and Sears’s case.
Strang said people who were in contact with the student, who was not from Nova Scotia, have been identified.
Acadia University spokesperson Scott Roberts said he was notified of the suspected case of the disease on Saturday.
He said the university is working with public health authorities and there is no extensive risk to students or faculty at this time.
Strang said people in Nova Scotia are not at an increased risk to contract meningitis, which is spread through contact with mouth and nasal fluids.
READ MORE: Memorial hockey game held in Lower Sackville to support family of Rylee Sears
Before Sears’s death in January, there had been no reported deaths from meningitis in the province in a decade.
Acadia University president Ray Ivany said the school has opened counselling services.
Callie Lathem, president of the Acadia Students’ Union, said their primary focus was to work with public health officials to ensure student anxiety and concerns are addressed.
Increase in patients wanting vaccine
Dr. Howard Conter said he has noticed an increase in patients requesting meningitis vaccines since news of Sears’s case broke.
“There’s certainly been an interest in getting the kids vaccinated and trying to understand if they’ve actually been vaccinated,” he said.
Many of the requests are for a vaccine that protects against four strains, including the strain that killed Sears, but Conter said it’s not available yet.
“When we call a couple of drug stores today, we could order it, but it’s been backlogged,” he said. “So basically it’s been back-ordered for a least a couple of weeks before people can get their shots.”
With files from Natasha Pace and Mayya Assouad, Global News