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Meningitis clinic set for bar patrons

23-year-old dies from infection

Toronto Public Health is offering a meningitis vaccine clinic to patrons of a Church St bar today (Dec 1), after a 23-year-old male died from the disease earlier this week.

The victim had visited Crews And Tango bar (508 Church St) on Fri, Nov 17 or Sat, Nov 18. At a Nov 30 press conference, Barbara Yaffe, director of Communicable Disease Control, said as many as 500 people may have come into contact with the deceased man. Yaffe says patrons of Crews And Tango that weekend are advised “to consider their own risk of exposure and to call us for information or come for a vaccine shot…. Our objective here is to prevent the spread of this illness.”

The vaccine clinic will be held at 519 Community Centre (519 Church St) on Fri, Dec 1 from 3pm to 7pm.

Meningitis C is spread by primarily by saliva, which can be passed by sharing food, utensils, drinks or cigarettes, as well as by kissing or other physical contact. It can also be transmitted by coughing or sneezing.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms, which usually appear within two to 10 days of exposure, include sudden onset of high fever, severe headache, nausea and stiff neck.

“Meningitis C can be a very serious illness and symptoms can become severe very quickly,” said Yaffe.

Close contacts and friends of the victim were interviewed, which persuaded Toronto Public Health to hold the vaccine clinic. All other known contacts have been followed up with and vaccinated where appropriate.

Yaffe says there is no epidemic; Toronto hasn?t had a single case of meningitis C in the past year.

For more information call (416) 338-7600 or visit