Skip Global navigation and goto content

Florida Departments of Health in West Central Florida Advise on Meningococcal Disease and Vaccines in Florida

By Ryan L. Terry, Public Information Officer

April 11, 2022

WEST CENTRAL FLA. – The Florida Departments of Health (FDOH) in West Central Florida are responding to an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Florida. However, it can be prevented and treated. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against meningococcal disease.

Thus far, the number of cases identified in 2022 surpasses the 5-year average of meningococcal disease cases in Florida. FDOH epidemiologists are investigating each case as well as contacting people with potential or direct exposure to known cases to provide them with information and treatment options.

The following groups should consider vaccination with a meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine during this outbreak:

  • College and university students
  • Immunocompromised individuals
  • People living with HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People in any groups listed above who received their MenACWY vaccine more than 5 years ago

Find meningococcal vaccines, including the MenACWY vaccine, by contacting a health care provider, county health department, or pharmacy. Your local FDOH offers meningococcal vaccines.

This is a serious disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Fortunately, these bacteria are not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or flu. People do not catch the bacteria through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been. It requires close contact over a period of time, or direct contact such as kissing or sharing drinks.

Early symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, confusion, and rash. Anyone who has been exposed or develops symptoms should be evaluated by a health care provider immediately. This is a rare but potentially devastating disease.

For more information about meningococcal disease, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or the FDOH website or call your local FDOH:

Citrus: 352-527-0068
Hardee: 863-773-4161
Hernando: 352-540-6800
Highlands: 863-386-6040
Hillsborough: 813-307-8000
Manatee: 941-748-0747
Pasco: 727-619-0300
Pinellas: 727-824-6900
Polk: 863-519-7900
Sarasota: 941-861-2900


About the Florida Departments of Health in West Central Florida

The departments, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, work to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

###

DOH-Hillsborough works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @DOHHillsborough and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.