California City Recommends MSM Receive Meningococcal Vaccine

A recent outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease has been seen mostly among men who have sex with men.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently started recommending that men who have sex with men (MSM) receive vaccinations for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD).

This health alert was released to the public after 13 cases of IMD were confirmed, and resulted in 1 death, according to a press release from the Department of Public Health.

These cases were mostly seen among MSM living in Southern California. Officials said that 6 cases were caused by serogroup C, which is preventable with a vaccine. Although the department recommends the MSM population receive the vaccine, no evidence has been discovered linking MSM and IMD.

HIV-positive MSM, along with HIV-negative MSM who have multiple partners, and those who share cigarettes, marijuana, or illegal drugs, should be vaccinated against IMD, according to the department. They also suggest routinely vaccinating HIV-positive patients to prevent IMD.

The MC4 vaccine to protect against IMD is offered for free at public clinics and other medical facilities to ensure that the vaccine is accessible for patients. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently assisting the department with efforts to investigate and manage the outbreak.

Officials stress that any suspected cases should be reported immediately.