Rash with Meningitis

NYC Health Department Recommends Meningitis Vaccine For Gay Men

The NYC health department has issued a recommendation for sexually active gay men to have a meningitis vaccine after increased rates of meningococcal meningitis among men having sex with men.

Reported at the NYC Health web page:

“Meningitis symptoms usually come on quickly, and the disease can be fatal if not treated right away,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Vaccination is the best defense. I urge all men who meet these criteria – regardless of whether they identify as gay – to get vaccinated now and protect themselves from this disease before it is too late.”

The symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

The symptoms of meningococcal meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3-7 days after exposure.

At the start the symptoms can be non specific with many people reporting they felt like they had a bad cold or flu.

If a rash developes it can look like a blotchy dark marks on the skin. Looking at the image above you can see that the meningococcal rash does not go away when pressed. If you place a glass against the rash you will still be able to see it thought the glass.

Of course if you have any concerns or worries be sure to see your doctor or local hospital immediately. Rapid treatment is essential. People around you may also require treatment.

Seeing your doctor for a meningitis vaccine is highly recommended.

Yours in good health.

Dr George