by Tom Christensen - County of San Diego Communications Offfice
The California Department of Public Health is reporting an increase in cases of invasive meningococcal disease in Southern California, particularly in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The cluster of cases in the last several months has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men and is prompting the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency to issue an advisory.
Not a single new case has been reported since February, around the time the city's health advisory was issued. “We’re very pleased that it appears the outbreak has been stopped. It’s the longest period we’ve gone without a case since the beginning of 2011."
People traveling to New York City for Gay Pride events over the June 28-30 weekend are being told to seek advice about vaccination for invasive meningococcal disease, in a report released in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The meeting is being organized to allow Southern California community members to directly ask an infectious disease specialistany questions regarding acute bacterial meningococcal meningitis. Attendees can get a free meningitis vaccination through an on-site AHF mobile medical unit.
"If this resident was in fact in attendance at the White Party, it raises the issue, so we want to get the word out to any gay men that were at the White Party, that if they have any of these symptoms, go see their physician immediately."
The department issued a warning this month recommending the standard meningitis vaccination for a particular subset of the population: “men, regardless of H.I.V. status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men through a Web site, digital application or at a bar or party.”