Main | Thursday, March 07, 2013

NEW YORK CITY: Meningitis Vaccinations Suggested For All Gay & Bisexual Men

New York City's continuing meningitis outbreak, which has now seen seven fatalities, has prompted the Department of Health to suggest vaccinations for all gay and bisexual men who hook up via social media or at bars, etc. Previously vaccinations had been suggested primarily for HIV+ men in some areas of Brooklyn.  Via press release:
The Health Department issued new recommendations today for vaccinating against invasive meningococcal disease – commonly known as meningitis – after an increase in cases. Vaccinations are now advised for men, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party.

Four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported since the beginning of January, bringing the total to 17 cases since 2012. There have been 22 reported cases – including seven fatal cases – since 2010.

“Meningitis symptoms usually come on quickly, and the disease can be fatal if not treated right away,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Vaccination is the best defense. I urge all men who meet these criteria – regardless of whether they identify as gay – to get vaccinated now and protect themselves from this disease before it is too late.”
Five members of the City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn yesterday urged the constituents of their districts to take heed.

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