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Meningitis Strikes Cluster of HIV-Positive Men

Thursday, September 27, 2012

medical, hospital, emergency room, ambulance (Fred Mogul/WNYC)

City Health officials are investigating a cluster of meningitis that has killed one man and left another in critical condition. There have been four cases among HIV-positive men over the last month. The cases are spread across several boroughs, and among men ages 31 to 42 years old.

Meningitis can be deadly if not detected and treated — especially to people with compromised immune systems. It's highly contagious, but generally only spreads among people who have prolonged or intimate contact with someone who's infected.

The city’s health department on Thursday alerted local doctors to the outbreak, as investigators try to find out how the infection is being spread.

There have been about a dozen cases on meningitis in the last two years — of those 12, four patients died.

Common symptoms of meningitis are high fever, headache, stiff neck and a rash. They typically occur within 5 days of being exposed to someone with the illness — and then progress rapidly and severely, within another day or two. People who experience symptoms should immediately seek medical care to receive preventive antibiotics.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [1]

Sainted_Mother from Red Hook, Brooklyn

There are _3_ kinds of meningitis, minimally: Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal. Bacterial Meningitis is the big time, high-fever killer, that antibiotics can handle. Viral, ya kinda hafta just bear with. Can't speak for fungal (just checked Wikipedia to verify).

I've had meningitis 3x, hospitalized for it 2x, diagnosis confirmed by spinal tap, a procedure that is just ... bizarre (the last time was 25 years ago). I live in fear of headaches, and fortunately, rarely get them.
A neurologist told me after 3rd time, "I'd probably get meningitis like other people got colds" and thankfully, that has not proven true.

Each has its own contagion factor / vector. And it is _not_ necessarily easy to spread, it depends on what kind it is and transmission media (e.g., my 1x, it was via swimming pool, I was one of several kids who got it ... from low chlorination). 2x, 3x, no clue as to trigger.

Handwashing really takes care of most disease spreads.

DO NOT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS except for BACTERIAL meningitis!!

(an inflamation of the meninges, the 3 tissue layers covering the brain, hence the headache)

Sep. 27 2012 06:25 PM

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