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An outbreak of meningitis in New York City has left one man severely ill, two others infected and one dead within the last four weeks. All four of the affected men had, at an earlier point, received a positive result from an STD test for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and are between the ages of 31 and 42.
"People living with HIV are at a greater risk than the general population of acquiring invasive meningococcal disease and if infected, dying from infection," reads the statement from the New York State Health Department. "This disease is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person."
The state health department urges anyone who suspects they've been infected with meningitis to seek medical attention immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that meningitis symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The agency reports that a normal immune system can fend off meningitis within 10 days, but individuals who have gotten unfavorable results from an STD test for HIV are at greater risk for serious illness, and the virus took the lives of three other New York City residents last year.
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