Florida: 7 Dead in Meningitis Outbreak

    Photo: AP [via NY Post]

    The Facts

    • The CDC and Florida Dept. of Health are investigating "one of the worst outbreaks of meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men in US History," with 24 cases and seven deaths recorded so far.

    • With Pride celebrations taking place across the state, the CDC recommends that men traveling to the area speak with their physicians about the meningococcal vaccine.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    It's horrifying to hear the media downplay the extent of this outbreak. This is a devastating disease that can be easily spread and lead to severely debilitating conditions. Local officials must take this seriously.

    Narrative B

    Although meningitis should be taken seriously, there's no need to panic. The cases aren't high, and we have all the tools we need to contain and snuff out an outbreak.

    Progressive narrative

    The blame of recent outbreaks on gay and bisexual men stigmatizes the community and could discourage people from reporting symptoms. Meningitis can be spread through any close contact; the CDC should be more mindful of the language they use.

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