Rare bacteria that invades the nervous system and can turn fatal ‘within hours’ is on the rise in US, CDC warns

THE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a health warning about a rare bacterial infection that can become fatal within hours.

Cases of the infection, known as invasive meningococcal disease, have been rising since 2023, the CDC said in its warning.

A rare meningitis bacteria is spreading across the United States


A rare meningitis bacteria is spreading across the United StatesCredit: Getty
Meningitis infects the body and attacks the brain, spinal cord, and bloodstream


Meningitis infects the body and attacks the brain, spinal cord, and bloodstreamCredit: Getty

As of March 25, 2024, the CDC has reported at least 143 cases, an increase of 62 cases over the 81 reported on the same date in 2023.

Last year, a total of 422 cases were reported, the highest number of reports since 2014.

In the cases identified so far this year, about 1 in 6 people have died, a higher fatality rate than the CDC typically sees with meningococcal infections.

The invasive meningococcal disease occurs when a microbe called Neisseria meningitidis infects the body and attacks the brain, spinal cord, and bloodstream.

Meningitis is a viral bacteria that can trigger symptoms such as headache, fever, and a stiff nose, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Neisseria meningitidis can also lead to a severe infection of the bloodstream called septicemia or blood poisoning.

Symptoms of bloodstream infections can include fever and chills, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, diarrhea, and, on rare occasions, a dark purple rash.

The viral disease can carry the bacteria through a person’s nose and throat without getting sick.

However, specific individuals with weaker immune systems, like infants and people with HIV, are more vulnerable to infection.

The bacteria can spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions.

Cases of Victorian disease that causes ‘sandpaper rash and killer complications’ surge 42% in a week – is your area affected

A high rate of infections occurs via kissing, coughing, sneezing, or living in close contact with others who are infected.

The CDC has identified at least four different groups of meningococcal bacteria known to circulate in the United States: B, C, W, and Y.

The Y bacterial group is the one spreading around the nation, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends that high-risk groups get one of the three Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines by Pfizer to stay healthy.

Pfizer’s Trumenba vaccine targets the B group, and its Nimenrix protects against the other three bacteria groups.

In October, Pfizer’s Penbraya vaccine, a one-shot jab that protects against all four groups, was approved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *