CDC issues alert regarding serious bacterial infection on the rise in U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an alert to health care providers about bacterial infections as a strain of the meningococcal disease begins to circulate within the United States.

Meningococcal disease is an illness caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. While this illness can have severe symptoms, including death, a serious infection commonly called meningitis can form in the lining of the brain and spinal cord and bloodstream, according to the CDC.

In the alert, the CDC explained that a variant of the Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y has reported 140 cases in 2024 so far. Although meningitis typically affects infants and young adults, this strand is targeting adults between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. People who are at a higher risk of getting this type of meningitis are Black and African Americans or someone who has HIV.

There are six types of meningitis serogroups that are known: A, B, C, W, X and Y. The four groups that are in the United States are B, C, W and Y, the CDC states.