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Canada: Serious bacterial infections causing pneumonia, meningitis on the rise in Alberta

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  • Canada: Serious bacterial infections causing pneumonia, meningitis on the rise in Alberta

    Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calga...ease-1.7106435

    Serious bacterial infections causing pneumonia, meningitis on the rise in Alberta
    Alberta reported 812 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease last year including 62 deaths
    Jennifer Lee · CBC News · Posted: Feb 07, 2024 12:59 PM EST | Last Updated: 5 hours ago

    Experts are watching closely as cases of invasive pneumococcal disease rise in Alberta.

    The potentially life-threatening illness is caused by bacteria known as Streptococcus pneumoniae, which often strike after viral illnesses.

    These bacteria — including 100 different variations — can live in the respiratory tract, in many cases triggering no symptoms at all. In their milder form they can cause problems such as middle-ear infections.

    But when they invade normally germ-free parts of the body, and become invasive, people can develop pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.

    "At all age groups there's been an increase in the cases and an increase in the rate of cases to the highest levels that I've ever seen," said Dr. Jim Kellner, a University of Calgary infectious diseases specialist who's been studying invasive pneumococcal disease patterns in Calgary since 1998.

    "It's a concern to see the kind of numbers that that we've seen. We expected to see big numbers last year. The sustained big numbers this year are a concern."

    Provincial data shows cases of invasive pneumococcal disease jumped to 812 last year from 481 in 2018, with a drop in 2020 and 2021 which doctors attribute to pandemic-related restrictions....
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