CDC Sounds Alarm on Invasive Bacterial Infection

CDC Sounds Alarm on Invasive Bacterial Infection

( – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert on March 28 regarding a bacterial infection in the US that is spreading.

The alert warns that meningococcal disease has been on the rise since last year. In 2023, the US reported 422 cases, the highest since 2014. On March 25, 2024, the number of cases disclosed was 143, which increased from the 81 cases disclosed on March 25, 2023, per the CDC.

The advisory from the CDC states that workers in healthcare must be alerted to the disease, especially for patients who don’t have the typical meningitis symptoms.

Neisseria meningitidis, a bacterium, typically develops meningococcal disease. The current strain, serogroup Y ST-1466, is invasive and mostly affects people between 30 and 60 years old, which is 65 percent of the cases. The CDC also reports that 63 percent of the affected population is black, and 15 percent are HIV-positive individuals.

Serogroup Y ST-1466 appears to have a higher fatality rate than previous strains. Out of 94 cases, 17 patients perished from the disease, giving it a fatality rate of 18 percent. Between 2017 and 2021, the fatality rate was 11 percent.

The Ohio State University physician at the Wexner Medical Center, Dr. Barbara Bawer, told the news media that the sudden and unexpected rise in cases is causing unease in the medical field. This is especially concerning due to the increase in fatality rates.

The CDC characterizes the disease as severe and rare. The common meningitis symptoms include headaches, sensitivity to light, vomiting, a stiff neck, fever, or altered mental awareness. Sometimes it can infect the bloodstream, causing fever, chills, fatigue, rapid breathing, or a dark purple rash.

Because this strain appears to rapidly progress to a life-threatening stage, the patient must immediately receive antibiotics. It may only take hours to become fatal for any person, so an immediate doctor visit is essential, according to Bawer.

Copyright 2024,