September 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Meningitis flares up again in New York
Daskalakis, New York City, gay news, Washington Blade

New York City health officials urged men who are at risk to be vaccinated against the disease. (Photo by Daniel Schwen; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK — Three new cases of meningitis among gay and bisexual men have been confirmed in New York in the last two weeks, health officials said on Sept. 5, in an apparent revival of an outbreak that killed seven men in the city from 2010 to 2013, the New York Times reported.

The new cases have occurred since Aug. 24 among HIV-positive men in Brooklyn and in Queens, the city’s health department said. Two of the three were confirmed in the last three days. All three men were hospitalized and admitted to intensive care units. None have died, the New York Times article said.

“It’s definitely unfortunate that the outbreak we thought had ended in February 2013 appears to have started again,” the Times quoted Dr. Jay Varma, the city’s deputy commissioner of disease control, as having said.

This severe bacterial infection can be spread through close contact like kissing and having sex and can be deadly if not treated right away. The last outbreak infected 22 men, some of whom died, before being tamed by a vaccination campaign that reached about 20,000 men, the New York Times reported.

City health officials urged men who are at risk — those with HIV or who regularly have intimate contact with other men they met through websites, apps, bars or parties — to be vaccinated against the disease.

Because of the last outbreak, a New York state law was passed that made the vaccine available at many pharmacies, including Duane Reade and Walgreens.

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  • The Meningitis Foundation of America offers extensive information regarding diagnosis, immunization, recovery and the after effects of meningitis. MFA survives primarily by donations. For the past 16 years, we have assisted people through support groups, resources and advocacy in efforts to help those affected with meningitis overcome and those around them understand the journey ahead. We promote prevention and safety measure in at risk communities and help explain the short term, long term effects and recovery treatments of meningitis to the media and public at large. Meningitis is a dangerous & often times fatal infection that can lead to serious life-long physical problems and even death. We are here to provide emotional support to those who need it; please feel free to reach out to us at
    Caroline L. Petrie
    National Secretary
    Meningitis Foundation of America, Inc.
    World Meningitis Day 24 April

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