NewsDesk @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida this year, The Florida Department of Health reports since December 2021, Department epidemiologists have investigated and reported 35 meningococcal cases (33 Florida residents and 2 non-Florida residents) which is well over the 5-year annual average of 21 cases in Florida residents per year.

Florida map/National Atlas of the United States

Of the 35 cases, 20 cases (57%) identify as gay or bisexual men, or MSM, and 10 of the 35 cases are residents of Orange County.

The Department has been able to link 22 cases to the outbreak, either through genetic sequencing or other case investigation methods.

All outbreak cases are male and 91% identify as gay or bisexual men, or MSM. Cases range between age 20 to 49 with a median age of 32. Half of the cases are of Hispanic ethnicity.

Additionally, 5 cases have died, and 10 cases are among persons living with HIV.

Serogroup C has been identified as the cause of the outbreak.

Officials recommend that the following groups ages 18 and older consider vaccination with a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine during this outbreak:

  • Gay and bisexual men, or MSM.
  • People living with HIV.
  • Immunocompromised persons:
    • Persons whose spleen is damaged or removed, including people with sickle cell disease.
    • Anyone with a rare immune condition called “complement deficiency” or anyone taking a type of drug called a “complement inhibitor”.
  • LGBTQ+ community.
  • Persons in any groups listed above who received their MenACWY vaccine more than 5-years ago.