The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health warning about a meningococcal disease outbreak in Florida, which is mostly impacting gay and bisexual males, including those living with HIV.
If you live in Florida, the CDC advises gay and bisexual men, as well as other males who have sex with men, to receive the MenACWY vaccination. It also advised individuals considering a trip to Florida to consult with their doctor about receiving the immunization.
The FDA also stated in the statement that many cases of meningococcal disease among college students had been documented in the state in recent months. The CDC stressed, however, that there is no indication that the infections among college students are linked to the larger outbreak.
The two most frequent forms of meningococcal infections, according to the CDC, are meningitis, which is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and bloodstream infection, both of which can be fatal.
What is Meningococcal disease?
Infections caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis are referred to as meningococcal diseases. It most typically affects youngsters aged 3 to 5 years. It has a high death rate (50% of infected people will die if not treated), however, it is vaccine-preventable.
If neglected, it can lead to
- meningococcemia, and
Meningococcal disease symptoms
According to the agency, the disease’s symptoms might mimic a flu-like condition at first and then rapidly intensify.
- nuchal rigidity (stiff neck),
- Kernig’s sign,
- severe headache,
- photophobia, and
- sometimes chills, altered mental status, or seizures.
How is Meningococcal disease spread?
Meningococcal disease spreads when people are in close contact with one other for an extended period of time, such as while kissing or living in the same home. Because the bacteria can only survive outside the body for a few seconds, you cannot get the meningococcal disease by casual contact or through the environment.
Is there a vaccine for meningitis
We have two vaccines for Meningococcal disease.
- MenACWY and
MenACWY vaccines offer no protection against serogroup B disease, while MenB vaccines offer no protection against serogroup A, C, W, or Y disease. MenACWY and MenB are required for protection against all five serogroups of meningococcus.
Here in Meningococcal Outbreak Florida, we don’t have serogroup B disease and so we don’t actually need to take the MenB vaccine.
Schedule: Two doses, given IM route 1 month apart.
Florida Outbreak Epidemiology reports,
The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) said on Thursday that the number of cases discovered so far in 2022 had surpassed the state’s five-year average of meningococcal disease cases.
The FDOH stated that its epidemiologists are researching each case and contacting anyone who may have had direct or indirect exposure to known cases to offer them information and treatment options.
It recommended college and university students, immunocompromised persons, HIV-positive people, and men who have sex with males get vaccinated against the disease as soon as possible.
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