One man died in February and the other two died in late
March, said a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of
Public Health. The men were all either 27 or 28 years old.
They were among eight people who have contracted invasive
meningococcal disease in 2014, the Public Health Department said
in a statement. That is seen as a high rate of infection for the
Los Angeles area, which in recent years has seen the number of
annual cases range between 12 and 37.
Four of the eight meningitis cases this year, including the
three men who died, occurred in the gay community that spreads
from West Hollywood to the nearby North Hollywood suburb of Los
Angeles, officials said. A number of the men infected in that
group were HIV positive, a condition that could make them more
susceptible to infection because of their reduced immunity.
The outbreak led the county Department of Public Health on
Wednesday to recommend meningitis vaccines for HIV positive gay
and bisexual men, and those who are HIV positive and have sex
with other men but do not consider themselves gay or bisexual.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis;
editing by Michael Perry)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.