NEW YORK — New York City Department of Health officials are urging “all men who are intimate with other men they’ve met on a website or an app or at a bar or a party” to “get vaccinated now” for a potentially deadly strain of meningitis that was announced last September, several media outlets reported this week.
The report said 17 cases have been reported since last fall and seven patients have died since 2010. The disease is described as a meningococcal “cluster,” a severe bacterial infection that has a high fatality rate. Four cases have been reported in the past four weeks and of those, one died and another person is in critical care. The cases span several of New York’s five boroughs and have affected men between ages 31-42.
Symptoms, the department reported, include high fever, headache, stiff neck and rash. Symptoms can appear as quickly as two days after exposure. Some have died at home before seeking treatment, the report said. A vaccine is available.