The University of Victoria mourned Wednesday at a funeral service on campus for a student, Leo Chan, who died on Jan. 18 from meningococcal disease, also known as bacterial meningitis.
The disease kills roughly one-tenth of those who get sick and disables another 10 per cent.
Because of the elevated risk in young people who are in close contact with each other, a new law in Texas requires that all students under the age of 30 have proof of vaccination by Jan. 31.
Health Canada recommends vaccinations for children under five, adolescents, and young adults. Coverage varies by province. Some meningitis vaccines are free in Ontario for those aged 15 to 19.
An average of 298 cases are reported annually in Canada. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, fever, vomiting, stiff neck and sometimes a blotchy rash. The disease spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with each other and swap saliva through smoking, drinks, food or kissing.
Chan lived in on-campus housing. Nineteen people who are at risk of exposure have been given preventative antibiotics, Vancouver Island Health Authority officials told Saanich News.