Starting in June 2015 an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis has been reported in Chicago. This is a serious and potentially life threatening infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis. Symptoms of infection include fever, sales severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity.
This bacterial form of meningitis is spread person to person from close contact and droplets, including kissing, and sharing drinks. The cases in Chicago have predominantly occurred in men who have sex with men ( MSM) and so the Chicago Department of Public Health have recommended vaccination to all MSM and HIV infected patients. One shot is needed for non HIV infected men, and 2 shots at least 8 weeks apart for HIV infected men.
If you have symptoms suggestive of meningitis please seek medical attention immediately.
At Lakeshore Infectious Disease Associates we do recommend vaccination to those at risk, and have Meningococcal conjugate vaccine ( Menactra or Menveo) stocked and available to protect our patients. Please ask any of our doctors or medical assistants if you have questions, or would like to be vaccinated.
Meningitis Facts: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdph/supp_info/infectious/get-the-facts–invasive-meningococcal-disease.html
CDC meningococcal meningitis site: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/
Meningococcal vaccine: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-info.html