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CDC Urges Meningococcal Vaccine for Gay and Bisexual Men After Florida Outbreak – Everyday Health

Vaccinations for meningococcal disease — which is spread by kissing and close contact — are recommended for men who live in Florida or plan to travel in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging gay and bisexual men who live in Florida or plan to travel in the state to get inoculated against meningococcal disease in response to an outbreak.

“There is a large, ongoing outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida, primarily among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, including those living with HIV,” the CDC said in a statement. Additional cases have been reported in the state, including multiple cases in college students, that don’t appear related to this ongoing outbreak, the CDC said.
“Florida’s increase in meningococcal disease cases is mostly affecting people who live in Florida but has also affected some people who have traveled to Florida,” the CDC added.
State public health officials announced an investigation of a cluster of three meningococcal disease cases in adults ages 18 to 22 in Tallahassee on April 1. Within a week, the state declared a meningococcal disease outbreak, noting that the number of cases seen so far in 2022 exceed the average number of cases seen over the past five years.

In response to the Florida outbreak, the CDC recommended that men who have sex with men get the MenACWY vaccine. This vaccine is routinely recommended for all people living with HIV, and the CDC also advises college students and other young adults to consider it. Most people need one dose; two doses are recommended for people living with HIV.

There are two common types of meningococcal infections, both of which can quickly become deadly if untreated, the CDC said. Meningitis is one type, which involves infection in the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and the other type infects the bloodstream.

“If you have symptoms of meningococcal disease, seek medical care right away,” the CDC said. “Symptoms of meningococcal disease can first appear as a flu-like illness and rapidly worsen.”
Common symptoms of meningitis can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and mental confusion, according to the CDC. When people get bloodstream infections caused by meningococcal disease, common symptoms can include fever and chills, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches and pains in muscles or joints, rapid breathing, diarrhea, or a dark purple rash, the CDC notes.

Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, and it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible to avoid severe infections and complications, the CDC notes. In more advanced cases, patients may need breathing support, medications to lower blood pressure, or surgery to remove dead tissue.

Even when treated with antibiotics, 10 to 15 percent of people with meningococcal disease die, according to the CDC. One in five survivors will have serious long-term disabilities including brain damage, deafness, nervous system problems, or loss of limbs.

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Viral meningitis is the most common form of meningitis. It’s typically mild and resolves without treatment.

A fever, severe headache, and stiff neck are the leading symptoms of meningitis.
Meningitis is an umbrella term for five types of the disease, each characterized by its underlying cause. Find out what distinguishes these types of meningitis…

Meningitis is a serious disease that can spread quickly from person to person. Find out how to protect yourself from the bacteria and viruses that can…

Symptoms of meningitis are often mistaken for the flu. But detecting and diagnosing the disease early can be lifesaving. Here’s what you should know.

Meningitis can come on quickly and be life-threatening, but its symptoms often get confused with those of the flu. Here’s what you should watch out for…

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Erdogan unveils Turkey’s first astronaut on election trail

Turkey’s first astronaut will travel to the International Space Station by the end of the year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday after an illness forced him to cancel several days of appearances.

Air force pilot Alper Gezeravci, 43, was selected to be the first Turkish citizen in space. His backup is Tuva Cihangir Atasever, 30, an aviation systems engineer at Turkish defense contractor Roketsan.

Erdogan made the announcement at the Teknofest aviation and space fair in Istanbul, the president’s first public appearance since falling ill during a TV interview on Tuesday. He appeared alongside Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and Libya’s interim prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

“Our friend, who will go on Turkey’s first manned space mission, will stay on the International Space Station for 14 days,” Erdogan said. “Our astronaut will perform 13 different experiments prepared by our country’s esteemed universities and research institutions during this mission.”

Erdogan described Gezeravci as a “heroic Turkish pilot who has achieved significant success in our Air Force Command.”

The Turkish Space Agency website describes Gezeravci as a 21-year air force veteran and F-16 pilot who attended the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology.

Wearing a red flight jacket, Erdogan appeared in robust health as he addressed crowds at the festival. Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 14, and opinion polls show Erdogan in potentially his toughest race since he came to power two decades ago.

Turkey is dealing with a prolonged economic downturn, and the government received criticism after a February earthquake killed more than 50,000 in the country. Experts blamed the high death toll in part on shoddy construction and law enforcement of building codes.

While campaigning for reelection, Erdogan has unveiled a number of prestigious projects, such as Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and the delivery of natural gas from Black Sea reserves.


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Israelis rally for 17th week against judicial overhaul plans

Tens of thousands of Israelis protested judicial overhaul proposals Saturday in the 17th weekly rally against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

The demonstrations have been ongoing since the beginning of the year, and organizers plan to continue, despite Netanyahu delaying the changes last month. The leaders of the mass protests want the proposals scrapped altogether.

“We are just getting started,” read a banner that demonstrators held at the main protest in Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic hub. Smaller demonstrations were reported in several parts of the country.

Spanish Prime Minister and Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez voiced support to the Israeli antigovernment protesters in a video message aired on a large screen in Tel Aviv.

We as Socialist International have always fought for freedom, equality, justice, and democracy. Yet, as many of you know, these are values that we cannot take for granted,” Sanchez said.

Protesters argue the proposed changes threaten Israel’s democratic values, hurting a system of checks and balances and concentrating authority in the hands of Netanyahu and his extremist allies.

They also say that the prime minister has a conflict of interest in trying to reshape the nation’s legal system at a time when he is on trial.

Such changes would result in weakening the Supreme Court, giving parliament, which is controlled by Netanyahu’s allies, authority to overturn its rulings and limiting its ability to review laws.

The protest gained support from the military’s elite reserve force, businesses, and large sectors of the Israeli community. But on Thursday, tens of thousands of right-wing Israelis who support the legal



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‘Total nightmare:’ As Florida insurance companies go insolvent, homeowners pay the price

Seminole county couple has three-year open claim because of insolvent insurer.

What happens when your property insurer goes out of business?

It is happening quite a bit in Florida and is leading to all policyholders paying more.

The Florida Insurance Guaranty is adding a 1% assessment to policyholders starting in October to cover claims for insolvent companies.

A Seminole County couple has lived without a fully functioning kitchen for three years because their insurer went out of business.

Sandra Braga Alfonso said what started as a leak under her sink has turned into a three-year nightmare.

She said there was already a fight with her insurer to pay out the claim, but then the company went under and it got worse.

Alfonso has a fridge and an oven but is missing lower cabinets, a stove, her normal sink, and a dishwasher.

“It has been a total nightmare,” Alfonso said.

It started in December of 2019 with a leak under her sink, she said.

She eventually discovered water in all her lower cabinets and in the sheetrock behind the cabinets, she said.

“The insurance company gave us approval to rip everything out that was damaged and now they don’t want to pay to put it back in,” Alfonso said.

The insurance company cut a check for $4,800, she said.

Of that $4,300 went to water mitigation to prevent mold. That left about $500, not nearly enough to replace her kitchen, she said.

“We’ve tried to settle, go to mediation, everything,” she said.

Finally, Alfonso and her husband filed a lawsuit against her insurer, but after two years of hearings and motions and waiting for a court date, her insurer went out of business.

She was with Capitol Insurance, but according to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Capitol was merged into Southern Fidelity, which is now one of 14 companies in liquidation.

“I’m over it. I just want my kitchen. I just want to be able to live again. I love to cook, and I can’t,” Alfonso said.

In the last year, Florida lawmakers have had three special legislative sessions to deal with Florida’s property insurance crises.

News 6 asked Alfonso if she thinks anything is being done in Tallahassee to help consumers with their insurance issues.

“No, it’s all for the insurance company,” she said.

One of the biggest moves made in Tallahassee over the last year is the legislature doing away with what is referred to as “one-way attorney’s fees.”

That means if you sued your insurer over a claim and won, the insurance company had to pay your attorney’s fees. Without it, Alfonso said she would never have been able to sue her insurer even though in her case, it didn’t do any good.

No. My husband’s retired. He’s on disability and he’s retired we’re on a fixed income,” Alfonso said.

Alfonso has now turned to the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, which handles the claims of insolvent property and casualty insurance companies.

They are still negotiating the amount it will take to fix her kitchen — more than three years later.

“I owned my first home when I was 20-something years old,” Alfonso said. “I’ve been paying my insurance premiums since I’m like 25, never filed a claim and look where I am now,” Alfonso said.


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