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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Your Health

2 More Deaths Linked to Meningitis in Southern California

Officials are reminding the public that free vaccines are available.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will offer free meningitis vaccines at three locations in the Los Angeles area in response to another death resulting from the bacterial infection.

The case of Brett Shaad, a West Hollywood lawyer who recently died from meningitis, has increased local concerns locally about the dangers of meningitis.

Shaad, 33, died Friday, within a week of feeling sick.

Local cases of meningitis related deaths, in addition to many cases that have struck gay  men in New York City, have led West Hollywood officials to warn residents to take necessary precautions.

People with the highest risk of contracting bacterial meningitis are students living in dorms, military personnel in barracks, and people with weakened immune systems, according to Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious diseases physician.

Vaccinations will be administered at the foundation's pharmicies at 8212 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood and 6210 Sunset Blvd., in addition to the Men's Welness Center at 1300 N. Vermont Ave. in East Hollywood.

Thirteen cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported in New York, seven of which have been fatal.

In December, a 30-year-old San Diego State Unviersity student and a 30-year-old gay man from Los Angeles, both died of acute Neisseria Meningitis.

Health officials say bacterial meningitis can be contracted through kissing or by having close contact with an infected person.

If you would like more information about the foundation's meningitis vaccine program, you can reach program director Michael Zimmerman at (323) 436-8900, extension 5819.


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