The Meningitis Centre of Australia is part of the Telethon Kids Institute and is striving to eliminate meningitis in Australia by lobbying for vaccines and educating the community to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The Centre also provides support for families affected by the disease.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
There are three main types of meningitis infection
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS!!!!
In August 2013 Australia became the first country in the world to approve the meningococcal B vaccine for widespread use. However while it is available via prescription through a doctor is is still too expensive for most people. The Meningitis Centre Australia is continuing to lobby the federal government to put it on the National Immunisation Program so that it is FREE for everybody.
Please sign our petition for the Federal Government to allocate funding for this life saving vaccine!
In 2013, 105 people were treated for Meningococcal B in Australia. If not treated promptly it can lead to permanent disability or death in 24 hours. EVERY SECOND COUNTS!
21 Jul 2014
WA Health Department reports 11th case of meningococcal disease this year
read more >
9 Jul 2014
WA records its 10th meningococcal case
read more >
8 Jul 2014
To the brink and back — Bozon family recounts Tim’s chilling brush with death
read more >
AN elderly person is the eleventh West Australian to be diagnosed with meningococcal disease, the Health Department says.
A statement released by the Department this afternoon said the person was recovering well.
It said friends and relatives had been contacted and provided with information and antibiotics.
“Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, life-threatening illness due to a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain,” the statement said.
“Symptoms may include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pains.
“Sometimes — but not always — symptoms may be accompanied by the appearance of a spotty red-purple rash that looks like small bleeding points beneath the skin or bruises.”
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical treatment immediately.
SOURCE: The Sunday Times
The Department of Health today reported that an older teenager had been diagnosed with meningococcal disease and has now been discharged from hospital.
Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, life-threatening illness due to a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain.
The Department of Health has identified the person's close contacts and provided them with information, and, where appropriate, antibiotics that minimise the chance that the organism might be passed on to others.
Meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat by about 10–20 per cent of the population at any one time. Very rarely, the bacteria invade the bloodstream and cause serious infections.
Meningococcal bacteria are not easily spread from person-to-person. The bacterium is present in droplets discharged from the nose and throat when coughing or sneezing, but is not spread by saliva and does not survive more than a few seconds in the environment.
Invasive meningococcal infection is most common in babies and young children, older teenagers and young adults.
Symptoms may include high fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, and severe muscle and joint pains. Young children may not complain of symptoms, so fever, pale or blotchy complexion, vomiting, lethargy (blank staring, floppiness, inactivity, hard to wake, or poor feeding) and rash are important signs.
Sometimes—but not always—symptoms may be accompanied by the appearance of a spotty red-purple rash that looks like small bleeding points beneath the skin or bruises.
Although treatable with antibiotics, the infection can progress very rapidly, so it is important that anyone experiencing these symptoms seeks medical attention promptly. With appropriate treatment, most people make a good recovery.
The incidence of meningococcal disease has decreased significantly in WA over the past decade, with around 20 to 25 cases reported each year—down from a peak of 86 cases in 2000.
There were 16 cases notified in 2013, the lowest number recorded in more than 20 years. This is the tenth case reported to date in 2014.
A vaccine to protect against the C type of meningococcal disease, which in the past was responsible for around 15 per cent of cases in WA, is provided free to children at 12 months of age.
SOURCE: WA Health Department
He woke up in hysterics, screaming in French at the top of his lungs.
By nightfall, Tim Bozon would be in a coma, one that would last 12 days and force his family into fearing the worst.
“When we arrived, it was like a nightmare — like he was dead,” said the former Kamloops Blazer’s mother, Hélène, who spoke to KTW from the family’s home in the south of France on Saturday, June 7.
“You have to live that to explain it. It’s not like your son. He had tubes everywhere and bags with water and antibiotics in the legs, in the neck and in the head . . . everywhere.”
On the morning of March 1, Bozon, who the night before had scored a goal for the Kootenay Ice in a 4-2 win over the hometown Saskatoon Blades, was rushed to Royal University Hospital (RUH) and placed in an induced coma.
A few hours later, Philippe Bozon, Tim’s father, stepped onto a runway in his home country of France after a business trip and checked his voice mail.
There was a message from Kootenay trainer Cory Cameron and it soon became clear Philippe needed to get back on a plane immediately and jet to Saskatoon.
His son had contracted Neisseria meningitis, a rare and potentially fatal bacterial form of the disease.
Hélène had read that week in a newspaper about three young French children who had died of meningitis.
She knew how serious the disease could be, but nothing could prepare her for the sight of her unconscious son, motionless, surrounded by doctors and nurses, unfamiliar machines beeping, buzzing and surrounding his bed.
“Philippe said he always believed Timmy was going to be alive but, me, I don’t know,” said Hélène, who arrived with her husband at RUH on March 2.
“He was always trusting and me, twice, I was thinking it was not good.”
Each of the next 10 days were flush with trying moments, differing diagnoses and inescapable thoughts of her own son’s mortality.
Even if Tim did make it through, blindness, deafness, paralysis and brain damage were among the possible consequences.
Hélène reluctantly brooded — especially on two occasions, when Tim’s outlook became particularly grim — on how she would even begin to handle her son’s death.
Philippe refused to muse on the morbid.
“Me, and I cannot explain why, I always, always believed that he was going to make it,” said Philippe, a former NHLer.
“I didn’t even start to think about anything else. Even if family, some people, were thinking about this, I didn’t want to hear about it. I told them, ‘He’s going to get out. We have to think positive. He’s going to fight. He’s going to get out.”
The decision was made on March 10 to start the slow process of waking the Montreal Canadiens’ draft pick from his coma, a pivotal point in the process when Tim’s new reality would begin to take shape.
“The doctor had been telling us any damage can happen,” Philippe said. “At the beginning, you want to see if he can see, he can hear you and he can speak.”
With a team of about 10 doctors and his parents at his bedside, Tim was administered drugs that would help lift him from his slumber.
His father holding his hand, Tim had a frightening seizure. His mother looked on as he shook for 24 minutes, his eyes rolling back into his head.“He was squeezing my hand so hard for 20 minutes,” Philippe said.
The seizure was counteracted with sedatives.Philippe said that period was frustrating because it was impossible to communicate properly with his clearly aggravated son.In an odd way, Tim’s anger was a calming sign for Hélène.By March 13, Tim was able to sit up in bed and the improvements in the days to follow were astounding.
“I’ll always remember that. Also, to see his eyes — it’s a bad picture and scary moments.”Doctors conducted tests and continued the awakening process and Tim became more and more responsive over the next two days, following his parents with his eyes and attempting to speak.She had seen that fiery temper before. He was still there.
Tim was extremely thirsty, but he was not allowed to drink large amounts of water and he couldn’t understand why.
Feeling and movement in his limbs returned and he was soon able to utter raspy words from his parched mouth, which was until then filled with feeding and oxygen tubes.
“I lost about 40 pounds, even more than that. You don’t recognize yourself anymore. You’re so skinny. You have nothing on your body.The Bozon family was shocked on March 24, Tim’s 20th birthday, when his elder sister, Allison, and younger brother, Kevin, arrived at RUH after making the long trek to Saskatoon from Europe.
The winger who made a name for himself in Kamloops playing on a line with JC Lipon and Colin Smith has no recollection of the coma — no bright lights, no dreams and no otherworldly encounters — and he barely recalls scoring against the Blades.The former Blazer has a new outlook on life.“I see life in a different way right now. I’m more mature. I feel like I’m going to enjoy my life.Hélène became emotional when thanking everyone who supported her son — the Western Hockey League, the Saskatoon Blades, the Kootenay Ice, the Kamloops Blazers and the army of Canadians who sent letters, gift certificates, money and comforting words.
“That was the most difficult thing to accept for me.”“You can believe it or not but, honestly, I don’t remember anything. When I woke up, I looked around and thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I thought maybe I slept for a long time, two days or 24 hours. It was for 12 days in a coma.”
“The neuro [RUH neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Hunter] says I’m really lucky after what I got. It’s tough for me to believe or accept that I’m lucky. I don’t realize and I don’t want to think about it, imagining myself without legs or seeing. It’s just, ‘OK, I’m lucky and I battled through it.’ That’s it.”
“Those two decided to make a big surprise to everybody,” Philippe said. “We didn’t even know. It was a great moment.”“There will be not enough words to say thank you to all these people. Kamloops was his first big family in Canada and they will be forever,” she said.“It’s just bonus now. It’s all a bonus,” Tim said.
Angie Mercuri, the Blazers’ executive director of business operations and Tim’s billet mom during his stint in Kamloops, holds a special place in his heart. She visited the family in hospital in Saskatoon.
Tim had a message for anyone who sent encouraging words through social media.
“It’s because of all the fans that I’m here right now battling, for myself and my family, too, for sure, but it’s for everybody that helped me, people in Kamloops, who believed in me,” Tim said.
“It’s for them I’m fighting to get back on the ice.”
Hélène reserved special thanks for Blades’ president Steve Hogle.
“He came every day, sometimes twice a day,” she said.
“Even when Timmy was in the coma, he would say, ‘Hey Tim, how are you today? Are you ready to go back on the ice?’
“The neuro said to talk to him. You feel crazy talking to someone with a tube in his mouth in a coma. When Timmy began to wake up, [Hogle] came and said, ‘Oh, are you ready?’ and he [Tim] started to shake. It was just amazing.”
Former Kamloops teammate Mitch Lipon, who attended a Goo Goo Dolls concert with Tim on Feb. 27, two days before he fell ill, was a consistent visitor to RUH.
“That boy was amazing,” Hélène said.
The Bozons said they are forever indebted to the folks at RUH — from the neurosurgeon to the nurses to the priest.
Kootenay trainer Cameron was also praised for his quick decision to call an ambulance on March 1, a choice that likely played a major part in saving Tim’s life.
Dr. Hunter suggested there’s no reason why Tim can’t make a full recovery.
The flying Frenchman was released from RUH on March 28 and is working hard in the south of France, doing rehab and going to the gym.
Last week, he skated for the first time since Feb. 28.
“After five minutes, I gained everything back, my hands and my skating,” Tim said.
“I was really happy and confident for the future.”
He has his sights set on attending the Habs’ rookie camp in September and playing for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, next season.
Tim even mentioned attending the Canadiens’ prospects camp in July, but admitted that might be a tad overambitious.
His mom brought an iPad to the rink and filmed her son’s return to the ice.
“Oh, me, I cried. I cried,” Hélène said.
“If you think about three months ago, when he was laying down like a dead boy, if someone told you he could be on the ice in June, probably, I would not believe these people.
“I don’t know if there is someone up there, but . . . amazing.”
SOURCE: Kamloops This Week
This year’s 2014/2015 Gold Entertainment Book has arrived in a paperback book or in a digital format for your Apple or Android phones.