Area officials monitoring L.A. meningitis scare

Mon. April 7, 2014 12:43 PM by Windy City Media Group

Chicago, IL - Chicago health officials are closely monitoring several cases of meningitis that have recently broken out in the Los Angeles area, but say that for now there is no evidence that any widespread outbreak has spread to the Chicago region.

Eight Los Angeles County residents, four of whom were gay or bisexual men, have come down with meningitis in 2014. Three of those men have died; two of them were HIV-positive. Los Angeles County health officials are calling for HIV-positive men to be vaccinated, as well as other men who regularly have sex with men.

"Every year Los Angeles has between 12 - 30 cases of this terrible infection," said Dr. Robert Bolan, medical director of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, in a statement. "Though the number of total cases since January 1 [isn't] outside the expected range, the number of gay men who have been infected is."

Brian Richardson, director of Communications for Chicago Department of Public Health, said that there has only been one reported case of meningitis in Chicago in 2014, "So we are not calling for mass vaccinations right now. But we are closely monitoring the situation in Los Angeles and keeping in close contact with the CDC."

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