For Immediate Release: July 25, 2016
Contact: Jessica Good, Public Information Officer, (714) 834-2178, JGood@ochca.com
Increase in Meningococcal Disease in Men Who Have Sex with Men in Southern California
(Santa Ana, CA) – The California Department of Public Health is reporting an increase of meningococcal disease in Southern California, particularly in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. A cluster of cases in the last several months has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men (MSM).
Meningococcal disease is caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, which are transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, during face-to-face or prolonged contact, or by sharing utensils, drinks or cigarettes. It is a serious infection that can cause meningitis (brain infection) and/or bacteremia (blood infection), and can lead to death. To date, Orange County has had four cases that are part of the cluster in Southern California; three of these cases have occurred since June 1, including one death. On average, Orange County has only five meningococcal cases each year. Continue reading