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Surge in Rare Bacterial Illnesses Sparks Concern in the US

Surge in Rare Bacterial Illnesses Sparks Concern in the US

United States: The increased cases of meningitis disease have increased the concerns among the health authorities of the United States. Accordingly, alerts have surfaced regarding a surge in infrequent bacterial ailments culminating in meningitis and, potentially, fatality nationwide.

In the confines of New York City, around 15 instances were documented in 2021, which increased to 19 in 2022 and the count witnessed a uptick in 2023, with around 28 cases. And the number of cases are about to surpass the past years in 2024 as the total number of cases reported have reached at 11, according to data showed by CBS News.

Prompted by a notification from the CDC concerning a spike in occurrences of “invasive meningococcal disease,” a severe bacterial contagion with meningitis implications, the New York City Department of Health conveyed guidance to medical practitioners.

“It’s not a cause for pervasive apprehension, yet the Health Department is vigilant. We’re scrutinizing each instance,” remarked Dr Ashwin Vasan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Cumulatively, there have been 73 instances in New York City since 2021, with an uptick annually. In 2024 thus far, 11 cases have been reported. As per the Department of Health, the majority of those affected belong to minority groups, primarily aged between 30 and 65.

So, what symptoms should individuals be cognizant of?

“Ensuring your child receives their vaccinations by age 11 to 12 for the initial dose and age 16 for the supplementary dose. This is due to the period when we observe young individuals congregating in communal living arrangements,” stated Vasan, as per CBS News.

Vasan emphasized its transmission through intimate and protracted interactions.

Surge in Rare Bacterial Illnesses Sparks Concern in the US. Credit | SHUTTERSTOCK
Surge in Rare Bacterial Illnesses Sparks Concern in the US. Credit | SHUTTERSTOCK

Additionally, the CDC advocates vaccination for adults grappling with underlying immunological conditions, including individuals afflicted with HIV.

“In the event of elevated fevers, muscular discomfort… if cognitive acuity diminishes or drowsiness ensues, immediate medical consultation is warranted,” affirmed Dr Bernard Camins of the Mount Sinai Health System, CBS News mentioned.

Camins asserted that treatment encompasses antibiotic administration, reiterating the vaccine’s paramountcy in defense.

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