Bacterial Meningitis is a severe type of infection of the lining of the brain or spinal cord. It can be caused by different germs.

You can find out about the risks, vaccinations, where to get vaccinations, and about invasive meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) which has been recently reported.

The Health Department recommends meningococcal vaccination for:

  • Men who have sex with men and are HIV-infected
  • Men, regardless of their HIV status, who have regular close or intimate contact with men met either through a website, smartphone application (app), bar, or party

If you meet either of these criteria, ask your doctor if you need a vaccination. The vaccine is best given in the context of regular medical care, so check with your medical care provider first.

If your provider doesn't have the vaccine, you can visit a clinic. The vaccine is also available at many pharmacies.

The Department of Health is investigating a cluster of invasive meningitis (meningococcal disease) among men who have sex with men. The disease is a severe bacterial infection. It is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharge from an infected person. Household members and intimate partners of people with invasive meningitis are at the highest risk.

Although most people exposed to the bacteria do not become seriously ill, some may develop:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash

The symptoms may occur 2 to 10 days after exposure, but usually within 5 days.

If you are concerned that you are at risk or may have been exposed to someone with meningitis, you should contact your doctor. If you have any of the symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

Learn more about Meningitis.

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