(HorizonPost.com) – Since June 2022, 12 more dangerous and invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) cases have been documented, with three fatalities attributed to the illness or its consequences, according to a public health warning issued by the state of Virginia. The latest variant of this disease is known as Type Y, and it’s ravaging Virginia.
Public health officials say that the bacteria Neisseria meningitides, which causes meningococcal illness, may be passed from person to person by secretions from the nose and throat.
The state health department of Virginia has issued a public health alert due to the continuing spread of meningococcal illness in eastern Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Health also reported that the virus may now be spreading outside the boundaries of the Commonwealth.
Department of Health officials reported 11 incidences of meningococcal illness among unvaccinated individuals. A patient, in one instance, received just a partial vaccination.
Those who experience the illness may suffer flu-like symptoms followed by a rapid worsening of symptoms such as high temperature, head, and neck pain, nausea, throwing up, light sensitivity, and even a rash. Officials from the state’s health department emphasized the need for prompt diagnosis for effective antibiotic treatment.
The Virginia Department of Health recommends practicing good hand hygiene, not sharing personal belongings, limiting close contact with infected persons, and getting medical attention immediately if signs of the disease present themselves.
Virginia residents are also encouraged to consult a healthcare provider and ensure they are up to date on their MenACWY vaccine if they are at high risk, meaning those with HIV, a spenectomy, or sickle cell disease.
According to the state’s recommendations, the meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MenACWY) should be administered routinely to children and adolescents. When the outbreak was discovered, Virginia authorities created website – which you can access here – to access all the information you need about the spread of the illness, how to prevent it, and what to do if you think you may be sick.
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