LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) issued a Health Alert and encourages health care providers to vaccinate persons with increased risk for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD).
Since May 2016, nine confirmed cases of meningococcal disease, including one death have been reported in men living in Southern California, most of who were men who have sex with men (MSM). Six of the cases are known to be caused by serogroup C, which is vaccine-preventable. This is an increase above the typical number of cases with most cases occurring within the past four weeks. Of the 9 cases, four have occurred among residents of Los Angeles County (excluding Pasadena and Long Beach which have separate health departments), and five cases in neighboring health jurisdictions.
To date, no common social linkages have been identified among the gay/MSM Los Angeles County IMD cases and cases identified in neighboring jurisdictions; investigation still is ongoing.
Due to these recent IMD cases among gay/MSM, Public Health reiterates its 2014 recommendation for meningococcal vaccination among gay/MSM in key risk groups:
- All HIV?positive gay/MSM;
- All gay/MSM, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have close or intimate contact with multiple partners or who seek partners through the use of digital applications (“apps”), particularly those who share cigarettes/marijuana or use illegal drugs.
In addition, because of the increased risk for IMD, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on June 22, 2016 to recommend that all persons with HIV infection who are two months of age and older be routinely vaccinated with MCV4 vaccine.
For IMD epidemiology reports and more information visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Mening.htm For questions, please call: Acute Communicable Disease Control (213) 240-7941
For clinics that offer free meningococcal vaccine visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/DiseaseSpecific/dontswap.htm
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.