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Gay men who travel to New York City warned about infection

A LIRR train at Penn Station. (Jan. 26,

A LIRR train at Penn Station. (Jan. 26, 2012) (Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Gay men who travel to New York City and take part in “risky behavior” should get vaccinated against a dangerous strain of meningococcal disease that has broken out in the city, the state Department of Health said Monday.

New York City’s health department recommended the vaccination earlier this month for individuals “with contact” in high-risk areas of the city.

Since 2010, the severe bloodstream infection has killed seven men. In all, 23 men have become ill in the outbreak; 22 of them lived in New York City and the 23rd spent significant time in the city, the state health department said.

Gay men who have visited New York City since Sept. 1, 2012, should get the vaccine if they are HIV-infected and had sex or if they had “close or intimate sexual contact” with partners they met at a bar or party, online or through apps, it said.

Common symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and a rash.


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