The Virginia Department of Health announced five deaths from complications of “rare but serious illness” in Virginia following a statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease.
Since June 2022, 27 cases of this disease caused by meningococcus Y have been reported in eastern, central, and southwestern Virginia. According to the department.
Most of the patients are black or African American adults between the ages of 30 and 60, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Of the 27 reported cases, only 1 received meningococcal Y vaccination.
“This development is three times the number of cases expected during this period,” the ministry said in a news release on Wednesday.
The strains associated with this outbreak are known to be more widespread in the United States, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Most of those infected were residents of eastern Virginia, where there was a local epidemic. First announced in September 2022, according to the release.Latest alert reports 3 deaths and 12 cases From the department in March 2023, before Wednesday’s notice.
What is meningococcal disease and how is it spread?
CNN previously reported that meningococcal disease refers to diseases caused by meningococcal bacteria. Infection can lead to both meningitis and a serious bloodstream infection called sepsis or sepsis.
The bacterium can be spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions, usually by kissing, coughing, sneezing, or close contact with another infected person.
Symptoms may resemble the flu or COVID-19 and include headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, foggy head, sensitivity to light, drowsiness or difficulty waking up, a stiff neck, and possibly a skin rash. etc.
Medical experts say anyone experiencing related symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
“Doctors treat bacterial meningitis with many antibiotics, and it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible,” he said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meningococcal prevention and safety
CDC recommends keeping Latest information on vaccines As an important step to prevent bacterial and viral meningitis.
The Virginia Department of Health also recommends the following measures to prevent further spread during the outbreak:
- Do not share personal items (e-cigarettes, lipsticks, toothbrushes, etc.).
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you develop symptoms, do not delay getting treatment Symptoms of meningococcal disease.
- Ensure that adolescents and teens receive meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) as scheduled at age 11 or 12, followed by a booster at age 15-16.
- Talk to your healthcare provider if: Increased risk of meningococcal disease Make sure you have the latest information about the MenACWY vaccine.