The Long Beach Health Department will be providing free meningitis vaccinations Friday and Saturday in response to an ongoing outbreak mostly affecting gay and bisexual men in Southern California.
In partnership with local business owners and the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, the health department’s mobile clinic will be parked at the following locations from 7:30PM to 11:30PM:
- Friday, September 9, between the Paradise Bar and Restaurant, 1800 East Broadway, and the Brit, located at 1744 East Broadway.
- Saturday, September 10, between the Falcon, 1435 East Broadway, and the Mineshaft, located at 1720 East Broadway.
According to July 27 article, county health officials said 19 people have been hit by the disease this year, with 10 cases involving men who have sex with men, and six cases in Long Beach.
Long Beach's six confirmed cases of meningitis were concentrated in the downtown Long Beach area and were across the board in terms of ethnicity. At the time, the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach's Director of Health and Wellness Ismael Salamanca said the ages of those diagnosed with the disease ranged from 23 to 49, with a median age of 25. All of those infected have found renewed health, and remain "unscathed," he said.
According to the Long Beach Health Department, Meningococcal disease results from an infection with a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. This infection often presents as meningitis or a severe bloodstream infection (sepsis). Symptoms may include sudden onset of high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion and a dark purplish rash. If not treated early, meningococcal disease can lead to loss of limbs and death. Meningococcal disease is transmitted by contact to respiratory secretions (spit) usually by close intimate contact including kissing, sharing drinks, and sharing eating utensils. Other risks include regularly visiting crowded venues such as bars, clubs, parties, smoking cigarettes, marijuana, hookah, or use of illegal drugs.