April 2, 2013
N.Y. Official Concerned About Meningitis Outbreak in Gay Men
A senior New York City health department official has expressed concern about the ongoing meningitis outbreak among local gay and bisexual men, Gay City News reports. Jay Varma, MD, a deputy commissioner, said staff members are “very scared” about how the disease is spreading. The concern follows months of statements from local health officials that they have the resources to address the situation. Since 2010, there have been 22 cases of meningitis among local sexually active gay and bisexual men and seven deaths. An additional case in a man has been reported outside the city, but he spent “significant time” in the city. Four of the cases have occurred since the start of 2013. The city initially recommended only sexually active HIV-positive gay and bisexual men get vaccinated, but it has expanded that recommendation to all sexually active gay and bisexual men. According to Gay City News, the city has done little to reach out to sex party promoters about the outbreak and ask for their help to offer vaccinations.
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