April 15, 2016 at 10:10 am EDT | by Staff reports
Two new meningitis cases found in Chicago
meningitis, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Tony Webster; courtesy Flickr)

CHICAGO — The Chicago Department of Health announced Tuesday that two new cases of meningococcal meningitis have been confirmed in Chicago men, CBS reports.

There are now nine confirmed cases from the Chicago area linked to last summer’s outbreak, all in men who have sex with men including one related death last June, the article said.

Officials said black men who have sex with men and are living with HIV have been disproportionately affected. All men who have sex with men are urged to get vaccinated.

Since May of 2015, the Chicago Department of Health has distributed nearly 18,000 vaccinations of which 14,653 have been administered, CBS reports.

The disease spreads through the sharing of saliva and spit, such as in kissing or sexual contact; or by sharing drinks, cigarettes, marijuana or other smoking devices.

Meningococcal disease also can lead to an infection of the bloodstream, resulting in fatigue, vomiting, chills, cold hands and feet, severe aches, rapid breathing, diarrhea and sometimes a dark purple rash, according to the CDC. Left untreated, meningitis can lead to death within a few hours, according to the CDC.

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