CDC warns of meningococcal disease outbreak affecting gay, bisexual men in Florida

Meningococcal disease outbreak Florida
Image source: Florida Department of Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health warning in response to the report regarding a meningococcal disease outbreak in Florida. The disease is primarily affecting gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men.

A report from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) noted that the number of cases identified this 2022 was more than the 5-year average of meningococcal disease cases in the state.

The FDOH is investigating every case and it is contacting individuals who possibly had direct exposure to those infected with meningococcal disease.

According to the CDC, meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. People infected with this disease spread the bacteria through close personal contact such as kissing or living together.  The two most common types of meningococcal infections are meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and bloodstream infection. Both are very serious and often deadly.

The CDC is encouraging gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men including those living with HIV to get a MenACWY vaccine if they live in Florida.