Health officials issue warning of rare, potentially deadly illness in Florida – WFTV

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning of a rare, but potentially deadly disease in Florida.

Meningococcal disease is an illness that starts with flu-like symptoms but can infect the lining of the brain, the spinal cord or bloodstream.

The disease is spread through direct contact, like sharing a drink or kissing.

Health officials said the number of cases identified in 2022 surpasses the five-year average of meningococcal disease cases in Florida.

READ: XE variant: New COVID-19 variant identified in UK; WHO monitoring

Doctors said the following groups are at the highest risk:

  • College and university students.
  • Immunocompromised individuals.
  • People living with HIV.
  • Men who have sex with men.
  • People in any groups listed above who received their MenACWY vaccine more than 5 years ago.

The Florida Department of Health is investigating each case and contacting individuals who have been exposed.

READ: COVID-19 found in wastewater on the rise again in Seminole County, officials say

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.

READ: Report highlights forever chemicals in clothes, outdoor industry among worst offenders

The best way to protect yourself is to be vaccinated.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Leave a Comment