Meningococcal Disease to tread with MenACWY Vaccine? Check out the Facts!

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Warning has been issued by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local health departments in Florida to LGBTQ+ community, especially bisexual, gay, and also the ones loving with HIV regarding an outbreak of meningococcal disease. As per the Florida Department of Health, a press release has been issued wherein it has stated that the cases detected in the year 2022 (so far) have surpassed 5-year average of the cases in Florida.

The Seriousness of Meningococcal Disease

As of now, as per the CDC, the natives of Florida are subject to contracting meningococcal disease. It has also gone to the extent of affecting the ones who have travelled to this place.

It is a known fact that two most common kinds of meningococcal infections include meningitis (wherein lining of blood and spinal cord gets infected) and infection of bloodstream. Both these kinds could prove to be fatal. The symptoms could begin with flu-like illness but may worsen further.

The Florida Department of Health has stated that college and university students, immunocompromised individuals, HIV-infected people, men having sex with men, and people in any groups who were vaccinated for meningitis over 5 years ago should be going for meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine.

The bacterium causing meningitis is called “Neisseria Meningitidis”. Though the bacterium isn’t as contagious as the germs causing flu or common cold, direct contact like sharing drinks or kissing could aggravate the spread of the disease.

Better be Cautious than Catastrophic

Early symptoms are inclusive of stiff neck, headache, fever, vomiting, nausea, confusion, rash, and sensitivity to light. The one who experiences such symptoms should see the medical practitioner with immediate effect. Through the disease is rare, it has the potential to devastate.

The CDC is also focusing on vitality of routine MenACWY vaccination for those suffering from HIV. To assure of the best course of protection, those infected with HIV should see that they have received their 2-dose primary series of this MenACWY vaccine and are also updated with booster doses.

For those already battling meningitis, antibiotics should be administered at the earliest. However, the success rate over here is 85%, which means, out of 100 people, 15 could succumb to the disease in spite of being treated well.

Coming to the general population, those at the utmost risk of meningococcal disease are inclusive of teens, babies, and youngsters, apart from the HIV-infected people. This has been confirmed by Jill Roberts (an assistant professor at the University of Florida).

The Celebrities

Late Helen Killer was amongst those who supposedly contracted meningitis when she was in her infancy. Due to late diagnosis, various complications were developed therein. As such, she contracted rubella and scarlet fever as well. The combined torture left her deaf and blind for life. One could thus gauge the seriousness of this disease. If not taken seriously, the likelihood of permanent damage can’t be ruled out.

Apart from the vaccine, there are various other inventions on the anvil. Healthcare practitioners are putting in relentless efforts for nipping the meningococcal disease in the bud.

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