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Orange County healthcare providers order more meningitis vaccine as outbreak continues

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Orange County clinics that cater to the LGBTQ community are stocking up on meningitis vaccines due to an outbreak that’s only been detected so far in men who have sex with men.  

The CDC says the best prevention against meningitis is getting vaccinated. 

Hope & Help’s Medical Director Dr. Trey Vanderburg says that’s why his Winter Park clinic, which usually provides HIV, STI and hepatitis C testing, has ordered the meningitis vaccine. 

“We are currently out of the vaccine right now. And we have contacted the health department and we are in the process of getting more vaccines delivered to our facility.”

Vanderburg says people might also want to avoid behaviors that help spread meningitis. 

“One I would caution them to please get a vaccine. If it’s been more than 5 years that you’ve had your meningococcal vaccine, please go get a booster. Another thing I would do is just be cognizant of the risk factors. This is something that is transmitted through saliva. Therefore sharing drinks, sharing food, extended kissing. Those are things that can help propagate the spread of this as well.”

BLISS Health in Orlando has also ordered the vaccine, while SPEKTRUM Health in Edgewood is focused on training patients to screen partners for symptoms of the illness. 

Six meningitis cases is the most this area has seen in five years.

Orange County’s meningitis outbreak is hitting the LGBTQ community hard. Most new cases are in men who have sex with men.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »