STATES CHRONICLE – Los Angeles County has reported an outbreak of meningitis and initial reports are showing that most of the people diagnosed are bisexual or gay men. This is not the first meningitis outbreak that affected the gay community in Los Angeles County. Another larger scale outbreak occurred in 2014.
Gay Men Will Participate In CDC Studies On Meningitis
Official health representatives have begun studies to investigate and find out why gay men have an apparently higher chance of being infected with meningitis.
Until the studies reach their scheduled end, medical specialists can only theorize and guess why a disease such as meningitis would affect the gay population in such a high proportion.
Out of the total 12 cases of meningitis in Los Angeles County, seven of them were gay men. Los Angeles County has a population of ten million people, of which 300,000 are self-identified gay men.
The proportional difference is more than coincidence. In 2014, Los Angeles County had 11 cases of meningitis, of which six were gay men.
Initial speculation is based on medical observation of interactions between gay and bisexual men.
On average, gay men have more sexual partners which increase the chance of contracting the virus or, of spreading it.
Apart from intimate contact, gay and bisexual men are considered to openly share items or consumables. Without proper product sanitizing, the risk of passing on several viruses always exists.
However, both in 2011 and 2014, investigations and questioning revealed that the afflicted had not interacted directly with each other, making them entirely separate cases, to begin with.
Individual cases led medical specialists to believe that there could be gay men who carry the virus in a dormant state but without proper screening, it will be difficult to track down the correct pattern of infestation.
Meningitis advances through its symptoms quite quickly and has a high risk of causing death. Its symptoms, in no particular order, include sensitivity to bright light, severe headaches, high fever, general muscle pains, stiff neck, and skin rashes. Meningitis can lead to advanced loss of hearing and brain damage, as well as death.
Bisexual and gay men are encouraged by health authorities to get the appropriate vaccinations preventively. Until the study results reveal how to better identify the root of the problem, cautionary prevention is the best option.
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