What you need to know about the recent outbreak in Florida.
The CDC has announced that Florida is currently experiencing an outbreak of meningococcal disease, primarily among men who have sex with men. Overall, the number of cases in Florida is just around 20, but this represents a large increase from previous years.
It is the CDC’s recommendation that all men who are actively having sex with men to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease.
What is meningococcal disease? The bacterial infection is caused by Neisseria meningitis, which primarily affects the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, or the bloodstream, causing septicemia (aka meningococcemia).
How dangerous is meningococcal disease? It is a potentially deadly or disabling infection which can progress very rapidly.
This is a very fast progressing disease and you should contact your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you suspect you could have meningococcal disease.
What are the symptoms of meningococcal disease? The most common symptoms of meningococcal meningitis are fever, headache and a stiff neck. Sometimes these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, confusion and eyes becoming very sensitive to light.
The most common symptoms of meningococcal blood disease (meningococcemia) are: fever and chills, vomiting, diarrhea, cold hands and feet, severe muscle or joint pain, fatigue, rapid breathing and later a dark purplish rash.
How is meningococcal disease treated? If your doctor suspects that you could have meningococcal disease, a prompt diagnosis and treatment is needed to prevent death or disability. Do not delay seeking evaluation and treatment if you cannot reach your doctor.
How do I get vaccinated? If you are already a patient at METRO, please, call us and speak with your provider’s nurse or one of our schedulers. Your provider can determine which vaccine is right for you and then we can get you on the schedule. If you are not an established patient, please contact your local Department of Health and they can direct you to one of their facilities to receive the vaccine.
Please contact our scheduling department at 727-321-3854 to confirm your insurance and/or to make an appointment to receive the Meningococcal vaccine.