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Meningitis outbreak, Florida Health urges residents to look out for this deadly disease

Virus Outbreak ICU Christmas
COVID-19 patient’s room in the intensive care unit. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. An outbreak of Meningococcal meningitis worsens in Florida, growing to nearly twice the number of cases seen in the last year.

48 cases and at least seven deaths have been reported as of Wednesday by Florida Health.

This caseload is the highest observed in Florida since 2014.

Common symptoms of Meningococcal meningitis are fever, headache, and a stiff neck. 

Additional symptoms include sensitivity to light, general confusion, nausea, and vomiting.

Two disease variants have been found in Florida affecting different populations, Men B and Men C.

Health officials have found that Men B is more common on college campuses due to the tight quarters that dorms provide.

Men C appears to affect and spread through men who have sexual relations with other men.

According to Dr. Ulyee Choe, the county health director for the state health department, anyone who has been in contact with a member of one of these groups is still able to contract the disease.

Vaccination for meningitis is available for those who feel they are vulnerable.