Recently, Chicago has been plagued with confirmed cases of meningitis. Since the beginning of June, six people have been diagnosed and there has been one death reported. All that were affected were males and homosexual. This has caused the Chicago Department of Public Health, which is also known as the CDPH, to intervene and promote their meningitis vaccine even further putting emphasis on gay and bisexual men. The CDPH has pointed out the seriousness of meningitis and how necessary it is to take the appropriate safety measures. The CDPH wants the public to know that there is a safe and effective vaccine out there to help them, according to Outbreak News Today. As Chicago continues to be plagued by meningitis, homosexuals are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
The CDPH stated that they are making every effort to stop the spread of the disease. Their goal is to get people who are at risk to protect themselves and others through vaccination. Free vaccination clinics are also being made available in the Chicago area through July 4. New York City also had a meningitis scare in previous years, so this has been an eye-opener for residents of that area as well. Health officials in New York City have alerted health care providers so that the proper precautions may be taken. It is a serious issue and the health of many is on the line.
A UK news source pointed out symptoms of the disease that the public should be mindful of such as fever, stiff neck, and headache. Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to light, and even an altered mental state or confusion. The article urged individuals who have experienced these symptoms to seek treatment immediately. Individuals also need to express caution in that the disease can be transmitted in multiple ways such as contact with saliva that is prolonged, sexual contact, intimate kissing, sharing drinks, and sharing cigarettes and marijuana.
The City of Chicago website added that meningitis has the potential to be deadly if not treated. Those who display symptoms of the disease must seek prompt care. The sooner that it is diagnosed, the sooner health care professionals can take the necessary measures to save lives. This is not a joke, it could be a matter of life and death and people should take it seriously. The disease places everyone at risk and anyone who has been in contact with someone who carries the disease could fall victim to it. Though many could be in danger, the emphasis has definitely been placed on gay and bisexual men in terms of getting vaccinated. The most recent outbreak in Chicago has greatly affected homosexuals so it is critical for them to be proactive. As Meningitis plagues Chicago, homosexuals are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Even the UK is taking action against the disease, according to the aforementioned source. A new meningitis vaccine that could be lifesaving will soon be made available to teenagers, babies, and also students. It is said to be a turning point in the fight against meningitis. The vaccine will be targeted at those who are most at risk of developing the deadly disease. The UK has been plagued with this disease as of late and extreme precautions are being taken to handle the situation. This new vaccine will give people extra peace of mind and help to control the disease before it gets out of control.
Just as the UK is taking action, so is Chicago. The worry is that additional reported cases of meningitis will pop up. Being proactive is key and keeping an eye out for potential symptoms that may occur in the event of exposure. All should take the disease seriously, but homosexuals and bisexuals are the focus in Chicago right now. These individuals should obtain the vaccination even if just as a safety precaution. Meningitis is plaguing Chicago right now and homosexuals are seriously being encouraged to get vaccinated.
By Heather Granruth
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Outbreak News Today: Chicago: Small meningococcal disease outbreak reported in gay men
City of Chicago: CDPH and CDC Expand Meningitis Vaccine Recommendation amid Growing Outbreak
Chicago Tribune: Meningitis outbreak in Chicago spurs vaccination
Photo Courtesy of NIAID’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Sanofi Pasteur’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License