The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning about one of the “worst outbreaks” of meningococcal disease in Florida, where they have recorded at least 24 cases and six deaths, for which they belong to the LGBTQ community (most notably). weak). disease) to be vaccinated.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with the Florida Department of Health to investigate one of the worst outbreaks of meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men in the United States,” the CDC statement said. The collaboration continues.”
According to the agency, there have been at least 24 cases and 6 deaths among gay and bisexual men so far.
In response to this outbreak, which was first reported in April, the CDC is recommending that “gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men get the meningococcal disease vaccine (MenACWY) if you live in Florida.” or talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated if you plan to travel to Florida.”
The CDC also reminds that people with HIV should be vaccinated with MenACWY as part of their daily routine.
“Vaccination against meningococcal disease is the best way to prevent this serious disease, which can quickly become fatal,” said Dr. Jose R. Romero, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
“Due to the outbreak in Florida and the number of Pride events taking place across the state in the coming weeks, it is important for gay and bisexual men living in Florida to get vaccinated, and for those traveling to Florida to speak up. Read more about how to get the MenACWY vaccine with your health care provider.
The two most common types of meningococcal infection are meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and infection of the blood; Both infections can quickly become fatal. Three serogroups of meningococcal bacteria cause most cases of meningococcal disease in the United States: serogroups B, C, and Y.
The CDC states that the current outbreak in Florida is of serogroup C, primarily among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Recent data suggests that about half of the cases linked to this outbreak have been among Hispanic men, it notes. The outbreak is primarily affecting people living in Florida, but has also affected some people who have traveled to the state.
symptoms of meningococcal disease
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), among the most common symptoms of meningitis are: fever, headache, stiff neck, increased sensitivity to light, confusion, upset stomach and vomiting.
The CDC says a dark purple rash may also appear. Symptoms can feel like a flu-like illness, but they usually get worse very quickly.
People spread meningococcal bacteria to others by sharing respiratory and throat secretions (saliva). Generally, it takes close or prolonged contact, like being near someone who is kissing or coughing, for these bacteria to spread, explains the CDC.