The Western Hockey League has produced a statement on the condition of Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon, who was confirmed to be in a Saskatoon hospital as of Monday afternoon with meningitis.
On Tuesday, the league updated the situation, confirming Bozon has "Neisseria Meningitis", which is a form of acute bacterial meningitis. The disease is described by Mayoclinic.org as "highly contagious" and is vaccinated against in Western countries. The WHL has described Bozon's condition as "critical".
Tim Bozon was admitted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon on Saturday, March 1 and has been diagnosed with Neisseria Meningitis. Tim’s parents, Phillippe and Helene Bozon, have been with him at the hospital in Saskatoon since arriving on Sundayfrom their home in Cureglia, Switzerland. The family has indicated to the WHL that Tim’s condition is critical.
Public health officials are in the process of reviewing the case to ensure all the necessary precautions are taken and anyone who had direct contact with the player receives appropriate treatment.
The WHL requests the privacy of the family be respected during this most difficult time.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that this form of disease is very rare in the United States at just a rate of 0.5 to 1.1 per 100,000 population and most common among infants. Among age groups older than a year, the highest rate of infection is among people in the 18-to-21 age group. Bozon is originally from Switzerland, and it's worth considering that he probably got vaccinated against a different serogroup (defined type of bacteria) than many of his friends and teammates in Canada, if at all.
"Critical condition can have varying meanings from hospital to hospital," Jo Innes, an emergency room doctor who writes about hockey player medical issues for The Score, said in a text message. "but according to the American Hospital Association, vital signs are abnormal and unstable, the person may be unconscious, and indicators are unfavourable, often resulting in death."
"Critical to me means he's in the ICU, he's probably on the vent, and he's not conscious."
Innes provided the information found in the rest of this post. She also suggested that Switzerland has "a poor measles vaccine compliance" and that may extend to meningitis.
Ice teammates, or anybody who has had close contact with Bozon, will likely receive antibiotics to help prevent against acquiring the disease, but outbreaks are rare for strains that are not routinely vaccinated against.
Tim Bozon has 62 points in 50 games this season in Kootenay, after being traded from Kamloops where he played the majority of his WHL career. He was a member of the Blazers when he was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 National Hockey League draft. That's secondary right now as Bozon's condition right now is not favourable and we wish him and his family all the best.