In Virginia and Florida - an outbreak of meningococcal infection: 5 people died
Virginia has a statewide meningococcal outbreak. Since June 2022, 27 people have fallen ill, five of whom have died from complications. cidrap.
The disease is associated with Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y, one of the strains included in the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). Meningococcal infection is an acute human infectious disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis, which is transmitted by airborne droplets and is characterized by a local lesion of the nasopharyngeal mucosa, followed by generalization in the form of meningococcal septicemia (meningococcemia) and inflammation of the meninges (meningococcal meningitis).
In a statement, the Department of Health said the total number of cases so far is three times what was expected over this period. Twenty cases have been reported in the eastern region of the state, but infections have also been reported in the southwestern (5) and central (2) regions.
So far, health officials have not identified a common risk factor, although genetic sequencing of the bacteria suggests that the infections are closely related. Most patients are black or African American adults between the ages of 30 and 60. Only one received the MenACWY vaccine.
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The Department has urged parents and healthcare professionals to ensure that children receive all recommended vaccines, including MenACWY. It is recommended for adolescents before entering 7th grade, with a booster dose up to 12th grade. The vaccine is also recommended for people who are at increased risk of the disease.
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Meningococcal infection is rare, but very dangerous. It is transmitted through prolonged contact through the exchange of secretions from the respiratory tract or throat, such as kissing or sharing cups or water bottles. The department said the overall risk to the state's population is low.
The consequences of meningitis and meningococcal sepsis are often deafness, blindness, decreased intelligence, epileptiform seizures, dropsy of the brain.
Outbreak in Florida
Along with the outbreak in Virginia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also tracking an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida, mostly among gay and bisexual men. As a result, at least 2021 people have become ill since 24, 6 of them have died. About half of the patients are Hispanic men, and some of them are living with HIV.
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