New York City Reports 3 New Cases of Meningitis

By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLISSEPT. 5, 2014

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 Friday, in an apparent revival of an outbreak that killed seven men in the city from 2010 to 2013.


The new cases have occurred since Aug. 24 among H.I.V.-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.


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


Meningitis is a severe bacterial infection that can be spread through close contact — like kissing, sex and sharing paraphernalia used to inhale drugs — that can be deadly if not treated right away. The last outbreak sickened 22 men, including those who died, before being brought under control by a vaccination campaign that reached more than 20,000 men.

City health officials urged men who are at risk — those with H.I.V. or who regularly have intimate contact with other men they met through a website, digital app, bar or party — to be vaccinated against the disease.

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

Dr. Varma said epidemiologists still did not understand how the disease began and why it spread only among gay and bisexual men. The prototypical patient is a black or Hispanic man who had sex with men, is H.I.V.-infected and lives in Brooklyn.

Source: Log In - The New York Times