Men who have had sex with men are being urged to get a meningitis vaccination.
The call has been made by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health after earlier this week it was confirmed that eight people in LA County have been diagnosed with the bacterial infection so far this year.
“Regardless of HIV status, who regularly have close or intimate contact with multiple partners, or who seek partners through the use of digital applications, particularly those who share cigarettes, marijuana or use illegal drugs, should visit their health provider to be vaccinated against invasive meningococcal disease,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, department director in a statement.
To help with the situation, the LA County Department of Public Health will be offering free vaccinations to patients without health insurance.
The free meningitis vaccinations begin April 3 and will be available until April 11 at five locations throughout the county.
Meningococcal disease can be spread through kissing, coughing or sharing beverages or cigarettes. It can spread to the blood, brain, or spinal cord and cause hearing loss, brain damage, and sometimes death.
Some of the symptoms include stiff neck, high fever, aches and a dislike for bright light.
The clinics offering free meningococcal vaccine in LA County are:
Curtis-Tucker Public Health Center
123 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood, CA 90301
Hollywood/Wilshire Public Health Center
5205 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Public Health
11833 S. Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90059
North Hollywood Health Center
5300 Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Pomona Public Health Center
750 S. Park Ave., Pomona, CA 91766
The service will be available in all of these clinics from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call 2-1-1.