Health officials in San Francisco have issued an advisory to gay men planning to visit Big Apple: Get vaccinated for meningitis.
The advice comes after a recent bacterial-meningitis outbreak that took the lives of four New York men. A dozen cases of the illness have been diagnosed in the Metro area this year, with three new cases just in the past six weeks.
On November 29, NYC health officials effectively recommended that all men who have recently had sex with other men should receive the meningitis vaccine.
San Francisco’s warning extends the advice to gay men who will visit New York.
“[Men] planning travel to NYC who anticipate having close or intimate contact with MSM in New York City, and MSM who have recently traveled to New York City and had close or intimate contact with MSM there, should be aware of the New York City meningococcal disease outbreak and ought to discuss vaccination with their doctor,” said Health Officer Tomás Aragon.
Bacterial meningitis, a severe infection affecting the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord, is transmitted via spit or nasal mucus. It can be transmitted through kissing, sex, and the sharing of utensils or cigarettes. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness and rashes.