Just something to be aware of: CBS New York is reporting that "The New York City Health Department has alerted local doctors of an outbreak of deadly bacterial meningitis among HIV-infected gay men."
More after the jump.
NYC Health Department officials say one person has died and one other was hospitalized as a result of the menigitis outbreak.
Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Jay Varma, says, “Since August 2010, we’ve detected 12 cases of this very specific strain but what we’re most concerned about is that in the past four weeks there have been four cases and one of those cases has died."
Four individuals have died in the last two years and alarmingly those four cases have all been among HIV-positive men.
Varma explains, “The biggest challenge with this infection is once you get sick it causes illness very, very quickly. Once they develop symptoms such as fever, headache, a stiff neck or a rash, the symptoms progress very, very quickly and people can become severely ill.”
Thankfully, if caught early the disease can be easily eradicated.
Varma tells 1010 WINS, “One good part about this outbreak, if you could ever say anything good about an outbreak, is that the bacteria that causes this infection is easily treatable with common antibiotics."
CBS quotes the health department as saying, "bacterial meningitis is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person. Examples of prolonged contact include living in the same household or engaging in intimate activities, such as kissing and sexual contact.
"Bacterial meningitis can cause swelling of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The disease is rare, but people with HIV-weakened immune systems are more susceptible."
Symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck and rash that develop rapidly within two days.
Be safe, Instincters, and if you're noticing any of these symptoms (beyond the typical headache from your weekend hangover that a Bloody Mary will surely cure), go get checked out!