Health outbreak hits Florida

Jenn Leach

An outbreak has hit Florida and it's not COVID-19.

It's meningitis.

Dr. Jill Roberts of USF College of Public Health, Associate Professor says:

Untreated about 70% of people who get meningitis will actually die from it. So it's incredibly serious..

So far, the 2022 cases have been higher than the five-year average of Florida meningitis cases.

What is meningitis and how does it spread?

Meningitis causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It can be deadly and it can be caused by a variety of influences like fungi, bacteria, viruses, or injury.

It can be spread by human-to-human contact with the two most at-risk groups being college students and men who have sex with men, according to this source.

With human-to-human contact being the cause of spread, that includes:

  • Kissing
  • Contact between people who live together
  • Sharing drinks
  • Sharing eating utensils

Early signs and symptoms

Early signs of meningitis can look similar to the flu:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sensitivity to light

Roberts said:

You really want to note, headache— severe, severe headache plus stiff neck is a warning sign. If you have those two particular symptoms it’s really time to seek some care,
It’s recommended that between the ages of 11 and 12 that individuals get vaccinated. There is a booster requirement that’s boosted at around age 16. We do a lot of catch up in the universities where students have come to us and they are not vaccinated yet for meningitis,

What do you think about this?

Share your thoughts in comments and feel free to share this article on social media and with your friends and family, if you'd like.

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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