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CDC warns of invasive bacterial outbreak amid surge in cases, death rates: ‘rare but serious’

An invasive bacterial infection is on the rise in the United States, according to an alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cases of meningococcal disease, mainly caused by bacteria Neisseria meningitidisreached 422 last year, the highest annual number of cases reported since 2014, the agency said in the alert.

So far this year, 143 cases have been reported to the CDC (as of March 25), which is 62 more than the number reported this time last year.

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The invasive strain causing most cases, serogroup Y ST-1466, primarily affects adults aged 30 to 60 (65% of cases), the CDC said in its report. Also affected are blacks or African-Americans (63%) and HIV-positive people (15%), the CDC said.

This strain also appears to have a higher mortality rate than strains from previous years.

An invasive bacterial infection is on the rise in the United States, according to an alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (iStock)

Out of 94 patients, 17 of them died from the infection, a mortality rate of 18%.

Between 2017 and 2021, the mortality rate was 11%.

The typical mortality rate ranges from 10 to 15 percent, even with antibiotic treatment, according to the CDC.

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One in five survivors may suffer long-term disabilities such as deafness, brain damage, limb loss or others. nervous system problems.

“I think it’s a concern, particularly because of the sudden large increase in cases and because this particular strain has had a higher mortality rate than in previous increases of this disease,” said Dr. Barbara Bawer, a primary care physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center told Fox News Digital.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease

Described by the CDC as a “rare but serious disease.” meningococcal disease Most often causes symptoms of meningitis, including fever, neck stiffness, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or altered mental status.

Older sick man

Meningococcal disease most often causes symptoms of meningitis, including fever, neck stiffness, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or altered mental status. (iStock)

It can also cause a meningococcal blood infection, characterized by fever and chills, vomiting, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches and pains, diarrhea, rapid breathing or a dark purple rash, notes the CDC.

Transmission and processing

Meningitis infections can be spread through close contact with someone who has meningococcal disease, Bawer noted — “usually, through things like coughing or kissing, but they can also be spread by being in the same house or in the same room for extended periods of time with a person who has meningococcus.” infected.”

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Those who experience symptoms of the disease should consult their primary care doctor immediately, according to the doctor.

As symptoms tend to progress quickly and can be life-threatening, it is essential that the patient receive antibiotics immediately.

“It can become deadly or dangerous within hours for anyone.”

“It can become fatal or dangerous very quickly – within hours – for anyone, especially if antibiotics are not started in time,” Bawer warned. “Even with antibiotics, meningitis can be fatal.”

She added: “This is often due to misdiagnosis, as meningitis can mimic many other illnesses. »

Infection prevention

Most cases of meningococcal disease worldwide are caused by six variants of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis: A, B, C, W, X and Y.

In the United States, the most common variants are B, C, W and Y.

There are vaccines available to protect against types A, C, W and Y (the MenACWY vaccine) and type B (the MenB vaccine), according to the CDC.

Woman doc exam

Those who experience symptoms of meningococcal disease should consult their primary care physician immediately, doctors advise. (iStock)

“MenACWY vaccines are routinely recommended for adolescents and individuals with other risk factors or underlying medical conditions, including HIV,” the CDC said in the alert.

To reduce risks, Bawer recommends people get vaccinated with the current meningitis vaccine as recommended by the CDC and avoid being in very closed spaces with other people as much as possible.

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“If you know someone who has meningitis in your household or have come into contact with their oral fluids (i.e. kissed them), then you should receive preventative antibiotics,” the doctor told Fox News Digital.

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This is even more important for those who are immunocompromised or who are on medications which lower the immune system, Bawer added.

For more health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

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