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Safety Report: Meningococcal Disease outbreak in Virginia, Virginia, USA

10 months ago source


Virginia, United States

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) confirmed a statewide meningococcal outbreak with 27 reported cases of the Neisseria meningitidis type Y bacteria, focused primarily in eastern Virginia. A resurgence of cases is triple the anticipated number during this timeframe, with 5 fatal situations reported to date. The strain associated with this outbreak is known to be circulating more widely in the United States. Despite the severity, the risk to Virginia's population remains low.

VDH has not identified a common risk factor; however, genetic sequencing of available specimens has confirmed that the cases are highly genetically related. Most case-patients are Black or African American adults between 30-60 years of age. 26 case-patients were not vaccinated for Neisseria meningitidis type Y.

Predominated by an uncommon strain of meningococcal disease, this outbreak pervades eastern, central, and southwest Virginia. Symptoms mimic the flu at onset, potentially escalating to severe forms such as meningitis or septicemia. Antibiotics serve as a treatment measure, however prompt medical care is crucial.

Adolescents and teenagers are encouraged to receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) on schedule for the best protection. Regular hand hygiene, avoiding contact with the unwell, and non-sharing of personal items are recommended preventative measures during this ongoing outbreak.

In case you are experiencing meningococcal disease such as fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, and possibly a rash, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.


#virginia #us

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