October 1, 2012
On September 27, the city's health department alerted local doctors about a deadly outbreak of bacterial meningitis among HIV-infected gay males in New York City. The outbreak has occurred over the last two years and includes a total of 12 cases and four deaths. The outbreak has recently accelerated, as four of those 12 cases were identified in the last month, during which one person died and another person was in critical condition. Investigators are trying to discover how the infection spread. The people with whom the men were in close contact have been treated with antibiotics. Bacterial meningitis can cause swelling of the membranes covering the spinal cord and brain. It is a rare disease, but people with HIV have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to bacterial meningitis.