CNN News:The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health are investigating "one of the worst outbreaks of meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men in U.S. history," the CDC said Wednesday. The CDC said Thursday there have been 26 cases and seven deaths from meningococcal disease in Florida during the investigation period. Among those, 24 cases and six deaths were in men who have sex with men.
The CDC says the outbreak is "primarily among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, including those living with HIV. Recent data show that about half of the cases associated with this outbreak are among Hispanic men. This outbreak is mostly affecting people who live in Florida but has also affected some people who have traveled to Florida."
Meningococcal disease includes meningitis (infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections. "Meningococcal disease can affect anyone and can be deadly," the CDC said in its statement.
The bacteria is spread through sharing respiratory or throat secretions, such as saliva or spit. It normally takes close or lengthy contact, for example kissing or being close to someone who is coughing, to spread the bacteria.
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