The Department of Health is investigating a cluster of invasive meningitis (meningococcal disease) among men who have sex with men. The disease is a severe bacterial infection. It is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharge from an infected person. Household members and intimate partners of people with invasive meningitis are at the highest risk.

Although most people exposed to the bacteria do not become seriously ill, some may develop:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash

The symptoms may occur 2 to 10 days after exposure, but usually within 5 days.

If you are concerned that you are at risk or may have been exposed to someone with meningitis, you should contact your doctor. If you have any of the symptoms, seek medical care immediately.