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Friday, October 7, 2022

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida is continuing to spread

An official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that an epidemic of meningococcal disease in the state of Florida has been responsible for at least 26 instances of the dangerous sickness. Sam Crowe, an epidemiologist with the CDC, said that seven of the instances resulted in the patient’s death. According to a press release issued by the agency, at least 24 of the cases and six of the fatalities have been reported among homosexual and bisexual males. This indicates that the epidemic is mostly affecting men who have sex with other men. About half of the instances have been found to involve individuals of Hispanic origin.

There are still reports of new instances coming in. Dr. Crowe described the epidemic as “very much continuing” in his statement. The condition, which is brought on by a bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis, is often passed from person to person by prolonged or close physical contact, such as when two people kiss. Meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, or septicemia, which is an infection of the bloodstream, are both possible manifestations of this condition. According to Jill Roberts, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of South Florida, the condition is still somewhat uncommon, but it is dangerous and has the potential to result in death “essentially overnight.”

Antibiotics may be used to treat the condition if it is detected in its early stages. It is also possible to avoid the disease by using a vaccine, and health authorities are encouraging those who are at risk of contracting the disease, particularly males who reside in Florida and have sexual relations with other men, to be vaccinated.

“We want to make sure that gay and bisexual men are aware of the tragic epidemic in Florida and how simple it is to protect themselves — specifically vaccination,” Dr. Crowe said. “We want to make sure that gay and bisexual men are aware of the deadly outbreak in Florida and how easy it is.” College students, persons living with HIV, and those with immune systems that aren’t functioning properly are often also encouraged to be vaccinated.

The present epidemic of the disease has mostly afflicted males who have intercourse with other men; however, anybody who has close contact with an infected person is at risk of contracting the illness.

According to Dr. Crowe, the state of Florida was the first to alert the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention (CDC) about an increase in meningococcal disease cases in late January. According to him, so far this year there have already been 44 instances of the sickness documented in Florida. On average, the state sees between 20 and 25 cases of the ailment each year.

Even while the majority of recent monkeypox instances have been found in males who engage in sexual activity with other men, the fact remains that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, is susceptible to contracting the illness. According to the opinions of several specialists, it is very important not to stigmatise males who have sex with other guys. According to what Dr. Roberts had to say, “it is in the best interest of everyone to make sure that folks feel very comfortable coming forward and that they are receiving the treatment that they need.”

Meningococcal illness may be identified by its symptoms, which include a rash, a fever, a headache, and a stiff neck. According to the findings of these investigators, those who suffer these symptoms should seek medical assistance without delay.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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