Meningitis Alert Issued For New York City Gay Guys and "Men Who Have Sex With Men"

Meningitis Alert Issued For New York City Gay Guys and "Men Who Have Sex With Men"

The New York City Health Department just issued a health alert for "gay men and men who have sex with men."

We're not experts, but "men who have sex with men" probably would have covered all bases.

Regardless, if you're a man having any type of sex with a man -- gay, bisexual, whatever -- you run the risk of contracting meningitis, according to Health officials.

The Health Department says there have been four cases of the disease in several boroughs, including one fatality, in the past four weeks. 

All four of the men -- between the ages of 31 and 42 -- who contracted the disease are HIV positive, which the Health Department says puts them at a much greater risk than the general population.

The disease spreads by "prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person. Examples of prolonged contact include living in the same household or intimate activities, including kissing and sexual contact."

Symptoms of meningitis include high fever, headache, stiff neck and rash that develop rapidly within two days. The Health Department says that people who have been in prolonged close contact with infected people need to see their health care provider immediately to receive preventive antibiotics.

Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days.

Health officials say that anyone with symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

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