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

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

The CDC says the outbreak is “primarily among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, including those living with HIV. Recent data shows that about half of the cases associated with this outbreak are among men.” Hispanics. This outbreak is primarily affecting people who live in Florida, but it has also affected some people who have traveled to Florida.”

Meningococcal disease includes meningitis (infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections. “Meningococcal disease can affect anyone and can be fatal,” the CDC said in its statement.

The bacteria is spread by sharing respiratory or throat secretions, such as saliva or saliva. Close or prolonged contact, such as kissing or being near someone who is coughing, is usually needed to spread the bacteria.

Symptoms include a high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, or a dark purple rash, the CDC said. Although they may first appear like the flu, they usually get worse very quickly. If someone has these symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately.

The CDC recommends that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men get a meningococcal vaccine if they live in Florida, or talk to their health care provider if they travel to the state. For those living with HIV, health officials stress the importance of routine vaccination.

“Getting vaccinated against meningococcal disease is the best way to prevent this serious illness, which can quickly turn deadly,” Dr. José R. Romero, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in the CDC news release. . “Due to the outbreak in Florida and the number of Pride events taking place across the state in the coming weeks, it is important that gay and bisexual men living in Florida get vaccinated, and that those traveling to Florida speak up. with your health care provider about how to get a vaccine. MenACWY vaccine”.

The vaccine is offered at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, community health centers or local health departments, the CDC said, and insurance must cover the cost for people who are recommended the vaccine during an outbreak. Anyone in Florida can get the vaccine for free at county health departments during the outbreak.

According to the CDC, the outbreak affecting men who have sex with men is caused by serogroup C. There is also an unrelated serogroup B cluster among college students in one county.

The meningococcal disease outbreak update comes as the CDC has been tracking an unusual outbreak of monkeypox in countries where the disease is not endemic, including the United States. CDC reports reported 142 cases of orthopoxvirus in the United States, including 13 in Florida.

The threat to the general US population is low, the CDC says, but there are remarkably high numbers of monkeypox cases among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. “However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” the CDC notes.

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