U.S. officials are warning of a rise in bacterial diseases that can lead to meningitis and possibly death.| Trending Viral hub

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials are warning of a rise in rare bacterial diseases that can lead to meningitis and possible death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued an alert to American doctors about an increase in cases of a type of invasive meningococcal disease, most due to a specific strain of bacteria.

Last year, 422 cases were reported in the U.S., the most in a year since 2014. There have already been 143 cases reported this year, meaning infections appear to be on track to surpass 2023, they said. the CDC. Most of last year’s cases did not have to do with meningitis, although at least 17 died. Cases were disproportionately more common in adults ages 30 to 60, in black people, and in people with HIV, the CDC said.

The bacteria can cause a dangerous inflammation of the brain and spinal cord called meningitis, with symptoms that can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting. The bacteria can also cause a bloodstream infection with symptoms such as chills, fatigue, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, diarrhea, or, in later stages, a dark purple rash.

The infection can be treated with antibiotics, but prompt treatment is essential. It is estimated that between 10% and 15% of infected people die, and survivors sometimes suffer deafness or amputations.

There’s also vaccines against meningococcal disease.

Officials recommend that all children receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which protects against the growing strain, around the time they enter high school. Because vaccine protection wanes, the CDC also recommends a booster dose at age 16. Vaccines are also recommended for people at higher risk, such as those in a location where an outbreak is occurring or those with HIV infection or certain other health conditions.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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