gay_flag_lede.jpgSan Francisco health officials this week are warning homosexual men about a recent uptick in meningitis cases in the gay community in New York City and are suggesting vaccination in some cases.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health on Monday issued a health advisory noting that there had been 12 cases of meningococcal disease among gay men in New York City in the past year, including three in the past six weeks.

The pattern prompted New York health officials last week to recommend vaccination for gay men who have had or plan to have intimate contact with other men they met through websites, smartphone apps, or at a bar or party.

There have been no recent cases in San Francisco, but health officials are asking those who plan to travel to New York City, or who have recently traveled there and had intimate contact with a partner, to discuss vaccination with their doctor.

Meningitis is an infection of the tissues surrounding the brain, spinal cord and blood that can lead to death, permanent brain damage or other long-term health problems.

The disease is transmitted via contact with spit, phlegm, mucus or other bodily fluids, often during intimate or sexual contact or by sneezing or coughing or sharing drinks or food with an infected person.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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