US: San Francisco issues warning against risk of meningitis

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Health officials in San Francisco have issued a notice advising gay men who may have travelled or plan to travel to New York City, to consider vaccination against meningitis.

In the past year, New York City has reported at least eleven cases of the bacterial infection, reported the Associated Press.

The recommendation by the health department went out on Thursday, and Tomas Aragon, the city’s health officer, said that men who had recently travelled to New York City, and those who had had intimate or close contact with other gay men, or those who planned to do so, should see their doctor for advice about vaccinations.

Meningitis affects the tissues around the brain and spinal cord. It can spread through contact with spit or mucus.

Back in September, reports suggested that a deadly cluster of bacterial meningitis had erupted among HIV positive gay men in New York City.

In October, the New York City Health Department issued similar notice advising for vaccinations against meningitis for any man who is HIV positive and had intimate contact with men met through gay dating sites or in bars since 1 September 2012.