Heightened Alert on Secondhand Vapor from E-Cigarettes and Its Impact on Children

By iMedix
Updated 2024-04-01 15:12:32 | Published 2024-04-01 15:12:08
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Heightened Alert on Secondhand Vapor from E-Cigarettes and Its Impact on Children

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed a concerning trend: an increase in bacterial infections linked to meningococcal disease in the U.S. Meningococcal disease is a bacterial illness, mainly caused by Neisseria meningitidis. This infection can result in severe health issues, including meningitis, which affects the brain and spinal cord lining, as well as the bloodstream.

A new strain, the Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y, has been identified, accounting for 140 cases in 2024. This variant notably affects adults between 30 to 60 years old, with a higher risk observed in Black and African American populations and individuals with HIV.

There are six types of meningitis serogroups, with serogroups B, C, W, and Y most prevalent in the U.S. In 2023, there were 422 reported cases of type Y, the highest count since 2014.

Virginia is currently facing a state-wide outbreak of type Y meningococcal disease. As of June 2022, the Virginia Department of Health reported 35 cases, including six fatalities.

Meningococcal disease can lead to two types of infections: meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicemia (or meningococcemia), a bloodstream infection. Key symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting for meningitis, and cold hands and feet, diarrhea, rapid breathing, and vomiting for bloodstream infections. In advanced stages, a dark purple rash may develop.

Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to these infections due to a weaker immune system and other age-related factors. To mitigate risks, experts urge health care providers to discuss safe sex practices with older patients, promoting a healthy and safe lifestyle.

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