Invasive Meningococcal Disease can be described as, “inflammation around the brain and spinal cord (the meninges). (Oregon Department of Health 2009) It is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis that lives in noses and throats. The disease occurs when the bacterium spreads throughout the body via blood stream after penetrating the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. In the journal Modifiable Risk Factors for Invasive Meningococcal Disease during an Edmonton Alberta Outbreak, 1999-2002, Lance Honish as well as several other authors did a case study on “an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in metro Edmonton Alberta, Canada.” (Honish 2008)
The journal’s case study is based on the outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease between the months of December of 1999 to June 2002. The disease was caused by a “bacterial infection called Neisseria meningitidis and was spread though direct contact or inhalation of respiratory droplets.” (Honish 2008) There was a total of eighty-four laboratory confirmed cases between the ages of below five to late seventies. All together, there were a total of one-hundred and thirty-two participants that had to meet diagnostic criteria: isolation of N. meningitidis from normally sterile sites, demonstration of N. meningitidis antigen in blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or positive N. meningitidis polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in blood or cerebrospinal fluid. (Honish 2008)
In the study, the method of choice was a case control study. There were two controls that were watched on age and sex. The participants were recruited by random-digit dialing and were administered a telephone questionnaire. Out of the 132 participants, there were forty-four cases and eighty-eight controls. (Honish 2008) Participants that were recruited that did not have invasive meningococcal disease had to meet specific criteria: “never having been ill with meningococcal meningitis or meningococcemia, and residing in the metro Edmonton area continuously since 1999.” (Honish, 2008)
After completing the 132 telephone questionnaires, it was shown that the participants who had a lab-confirmed case were exposed to Invasive Meningococcal Disease a month prior to the onset of illness. As for the control group, “the calendar month for onset of illness for controlled cases was matched.” (Honish 2008) The highest rate for month of onset was January 2002 to March 2002 with a total of nine cases. Correlations to the cause of exposure were determined by the participant’s age category. For example, children under the age of twelve years of age were considered not to be exposed to Invasive meningococcal disease through raves and smoking. Within the collected data, there were two Edmonton outbreaks of invasive meningococcal disease cases that possibly attended raves in the prior month of their onset; therefore, raves were a potential risk factor, especially for teenagers.
Vaccination history was also part of the data...