On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an alert aimed at men that are HIV-positive, and those that were high risk in general, to get vaccinated for meningitis.
Since January of this year, there have been eight confirmed cases of meningitis; four of those being men in the LGBTQ community. Sadly, of those four, three have already died.
According to FrontiersLA.com
, all of the cases were men who reside or socialize in the West and North Hollywood areas and were generally between the ages of 27 and 28.
"All HIV-positive MSM and all MSM, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have close or intimate contact with multiple partners, or who seek partners through the use of digital applications, particularly those who share cigarettes, marijuana or use illegal drugs, should visit their health provider to be vaccinated against invasive meningococcal disease," DPH Director Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding said in the alert.
"At-risk MSM who don’t have health insurance can obtain a free vaccination through the Department of Public Health."
The DPH alert noted that:
IMD (invasive meningococcal disease) is a sporadic and uncommon bacterial infection of the blood or the lining of the brain and spinal cord that can affect the entire body. The infection can cause brain damage, hearing loss, and even death. The bacteria can be spread by very close exposure to sneezing and coughing or direct contact with saliva or nose mucus.
Disease symptoms may include: high fever, stiff neck, altered mental status, skin rash, severe headache, low blood pressure, aversion to bright lights, and generalized muscle pains. Symptoms usually occur within 5 days of the exposure, but may present as many as 10 days after exposure. IMD progresses rapidly, so immediate diagnosis and treatment is imperative.
Meningitis can be treated with antibiotics, but the disease progresses rapidly, so if you think you have any of these symptoms, get checked out immediately.
Whether or not you’re living in LA, be aware of your health safety.
Play smart and live healthy.
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