24 cases, 7 deaths among gay and bisexual men reported in Florida meningococcal disease outbreak, CDC says

by Msnbctv news staff

The CDC says the outbreak is “primarily amongst homosexual, bisexual, and different males who’ve intercourse with males, together with these residing with HIV. Latest knowledge present that about half of the instances related to this outbreak are amongst Hispanic males. This outbreak is generally affecting individuals who dwell in Florida however has additionally affected some individuals who have traveled to Florida.”

Meningococcal illness consists of meningitis — infections of the liner of the mind and spinal wire — and bloodstream infections. “Meningococcal illness can have an effect on anybody and may be lethal,” the CDC stated in its assertion.

The micro organism is unfold by sharing respiratory or throat secretions, akin to saliva or spit. It usually takes shut or prolonged contact, for instance kissing or being near somebody who’s coughing, to unfold the micro organism.

Signs embrace excessive fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting or a darkish purple rash, the CDC stated. Whereas they will first seem as flu like, they usually worsen in a short time. If somebody has these signs, they need to search medical consideration instantly.

CDC is recommending that homosexual, bisexual and different males who’ve intercourse with males get the meningococcal vaccine in the event that they dwell in Florida, or discuss to their well being care supplier if they’re touring to the state. For individuals who dwell with HIV, well being officers are emphasizing the significance of routine vaccination.

“Getting vaccinated in opposition to meningococcal illness is the easiest way to forestall this critical sickness, which may shortly change into lethal,” stated Dr. José R. Romero, director of the Nationwide Heart for Immunization and Respiratory Ailments, within the CDC information launch. “Due to the outbreak in Florida, and the variety of Delight occasions being held throughout the state in coming weeks, it is vital that homosexual and bisexual males who dwell in Florida get vaccinated, and people touring to Florida discuss to their healthcare supplier about getting a MenACWY vaccine.”

The vaccine is obtainable at medical doctors’ places of work, pharmacies, neighborhood well being facilities or native well being departments, the CDC stated, and insurance coverage ought to cowl the price for folks for whom the vaccine is advisable throughout an outbreak. Anybody in Florida can get the vaccine without charge at county well being departments in the course of the outbreak.

In keeping with the CDC, the outbreak affecting males who’ve intercourse with males is attributable to serogroup C. There’s additionally an unrelated serogroup B cluster amongst faculty and college college students in a single county.

The meningococcal illness outbreak replace comes because the CDC has been monitoring an uncommon outbreak of monkeypox in international locations the place the illness will not be endemic, together with the US. The CDC studies has reported 142 orthopoxvirus instances in the US, together with 13 in Florida.

The risk to the overall US inhabitants is low, the CDC says, however there are notably excessive numbers of monkeypox instances amongst homosexual, bisexual, and different males who’ve intercourse with males. “Nevertheless, anybody who has been in shut contact with somebody who has monkeypox is in danger,” the CDC notes.

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