Fort Collins is experiencing a rush for meningitis vaccines following a deadly outbreak that appears to be linked to a meningococcal disease facility in Denver.
The Denver Post highlights efforts by Larimer County health officials to trace the source of the bacterial meningitis in the Fort Collins area, which has so far struck four people, leaving two dead and two others in critical condition. The malady, which causes a severe blood infection, appears to have been spread on June 9 during an adult recreational league ice hockey game in Fort Collins.
Larimer County’s director of health, Adrienne LeBailly, says she has never seen a cluster of meningococcal disease cases so severe in her 23 years with the county, notes the Coloradoan.
While the hockey game was a flashpoint for the outbreak, a virulent strain of meningococcal bacteria, known as “Group C,” is responsible for causing meningococcal sepsis, a blood infection “that killed a Denver resident with unknown Colorado State University connections two months ago,” LeBailly says.
Also dead are hockey players Brian Wormus (June 14), and Nick Smith, who died Tuesday. Both were in their late twenties.
Meanwhile, news of the deaths has moved one Loveland couple to urge the state to mandate vaccinations for all Colorado students before entering middle school, writes 7News, which points out, in a separate article, that the state health department “recommends people between the ages of 11 and 18, college students, and anyone who thinks they are at risk get vaccinated.”