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CDC warns of meningococcal disease outbreak in Florida

CBS NEWS – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning after a recent outbreak of meningococcal disease, mostly among men who have sex with men, in Florida.

The health agency encouraged men who are gay, bisexual and have sex with men and live in the state to get vaccinated against the disease.

It also said men who are visiting the state should speak to their healthcare provider about the MenACWY vaccine, which prevents the disease.

The vaccine comes in a one dose series, or two doses for those who live with HIV. People who are traveling to Florida should get vaccinated at least two weeks before their trip.

The disease can be transmitted during extended close contact or direct contact, like sharing drinks or kissing, according to the CDC. It is not as transmissible as something like the cold or the flu.

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Meningococcal disease usually presents as an infection of meningitis or a bloodstream infection … READ MORE. 

Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, Florida, 2022

CDC – There is a large, ongoing outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida, primarily among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, including those living with HIV.

There have also been cases reported in the state over the last few months, including multiple cases in college students. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the cases among college students are related to the larger outbreak.

Florida’s increase in meningococcal disease cases is mostly affecting people who live in Florida but has also affected some people who have traveled to Florida.

Meningococcal disease: Very serious, often deadly

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The two most common types of meningococcal infections are meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infection, both of which can quickly become deadly.

If you have symptoms of meningococcal disease, seek medical care right away. Symptoms of meningococcal disease can first appear as a flu-like illness and rapidly worsen.

Vaccination offers the best protection against meningococcal disease

In response to this outbreak in Florida, CDC is encouraging gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (with or without HIV) to:

  • Get a MenACWY vaccine if they live in Florida
  • Talk with their healthcare provider about getting a MenACWY vaccine if they are traveling to Florida | SOURCE 
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