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CDC Warns of Deadly Meningitis Strain Surge

Neisseria meningitidis bacteria

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert regarding a national outbreak of a severe bacterial infection caused by a strain of Neisseria meningitidis. This outbreak is associated with a higher fatality rate compared to typical meningococcal infections. As of March 25, 143 cases have been reported for the year, marking a significant increase from the 81 cases reported by this time in 2023. The majority of cases (approximately 65%) are occurring in individuals aged 30 to 60 years, diverging from the common age groups usually affected by meningitis, which include infants, adolescents, and young adults.

Meningitis symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and changes in mental status. Symptoms of a meningococcal bloodstream infection might present as fever and chills, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches, rapid breathing, diarrhea, and possibly a dark purple rash in advanced stages. These symptoms can deteriorate swiftly, potentially becoming fatal within hours.

The CDC advises the public to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms of meningococcal disease develop and to discuss meningococcal vaccination with healthcare providers, including any necessary booster shots. Healthcare providers are urged to be vigilant for signs of the disease, especially in populations currently at an increased risk, and to be aware that patients may not present with typical meningitis symptoms. They are also reminded to ensure that individuals recommended for vaccination, such as those with HIV, are up to date with their meningococcal vaccines.


Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

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