HomeHealthFlorida Department of Health in Alachua County Advises on Meningococcal Disease and Vaccines in Florida
Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Advises on Meningococcal Disease and Vaccines in Florida
April 8, 2022
Press release from the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County
The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is responding to an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida. However, it can be prevented and treated. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against meningococcal disease.
Thus far, the number of cases identified in 2022 surpasses the 5-year average of meningococcal disease cases in Florida. FDOH epidemiologists are investigating each case as well as contacting people with potential or direct exposure to known cases to provide them with information and treatment options.
Because there is great concern about the increase in cases among college and university students and men who have sex with men, they and the following groups should consider vaccination with a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine during this outbreak:
People living with HIV
People in any groups listed above who received their MenACWY vaccine more than five years ago
Find meningococcal vaccines, including the MenACWY vaccine, by contacting a health care provider, county health department, or pharmacy. FDOH-Alachua offers meningococcal vaccines. For more information, visit the FDOH-Alachua website Florida Department of Health in Alachua (floridahealth.gov) or call 352-334-7900.
This is a serious disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Fortunately, these bacteria are not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or flu. People do not catch the bacteria through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been. It requires close contact over a period of time, or direct contact such as kissing or sharing drinks.
Early symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, confusion, and rash. Anyone who has been exposed or develops symptoms should be evaluated by a health care provider immediately. This is a rare but potentially devastating disease.