News (USA)

NYC health officials warn of meningitis risks ahead of gay pride weekend

NYC health officials warn of meningitis risks ahead of gay pride weekend

NEW YORK — New York City officials have issued a warning given ahead of the upcoming gay pride weekend, advising visitors to consult their physicians about receiving a meningitis vaccination.

Doctors from Weill Cornell Medical College and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are raising the alarm in the article due to a deadly bacterial meningitis outbreak affecting men who have sex with other men, reported NBC News.

Since August of 2010, New York health authorities have received reports of 22 cases of the disease among gay men, or men who have had sex with other men.

Seven of the men have died, a rate of death significantly higher than that found in the general population where meningitis kills between 10 and 14 percent of patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Los Angeles has also seen cases among the gay community, four since last December.

“It would be reasonable for people traveling to New York City and participating in the events to talk to their doctors about whether or not they might benefit from vaccinations,” Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control in the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told NBC News.

The department is recommending the vaccination for men who have engaged in intimate contact with a man met either online, though a mobile application, or at a bar or party.

The advisory was published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

New York City pride weekend is June 28-30.

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