The California Department of Public Health has issued a health advisory in Southern California linked to an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease, primarily among adult gay and bisexual men.

Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacteria and can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections, known as sepsis. Although rare, meningococcal disease is serious and potentially fatal.

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Since the beginning of May, nine meningococcal disease cases have been identified in men living in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. One patient died as a result of the infection. Six of the cases are known to be caused by a particular strain of meningococcal bacteria.

Several outbreaks and clusters of meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men have been reported in New York City, Los Angeles County, and Chicago since 2014. Many of those affected were infected with HIV.