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Florida Department of Health monitoring meningococcal disease outbreak

Three cases of disease confirmed in Leon County
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Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 18:36:04-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Department of Health is monitoring an outbreak of a disease in the state.

The department said in a news release Monday that it is responding to an outbreak of meningococcal disease.

The department of health noted the best defense against the disease is by getting vaccinated.

The department of health recommends college and university students, immunocompromised individuals, people with HIV, men who have sex with men and individuals in any groups previously listed who received their MenACWY vaccine more than five years ago to get vaccinated with a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine.

Those interested in getting the vaccine should either contact their local department of health, a health care provider or a pharmacy.

The Florida Department of Health Leon County announced April 1 three cases of the disease were confirmed in Leon County.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed an outbreak of meningococcal disease in the state.

The department of health noted that the current number of identified cases in Florida surpassed the five-year average of meningococcal disease in the state.

State epidemiologists are investigating each case of the disease and conducting contract tracing with those who were in contact with those who were infected.

Meningococcal disease does not spread as easily as the material that causes the flu, but it is caught by individuals who are in close contact with another infected person for an extended period of time or by direct contact, like kissing or sharing beverages.

The disease can lead to death.

The department of health says early symptoms of meningococcal disease include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, confusion and rash.