CHO Health Alert: Outbreak Of Invasive Meningococcal C Disease In Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

08 December, 2017

Status: Active                        

Date issued: 7 December 2017                   
Issued by: Dr Brett Sutton, Deputy Chief Officer, Victoria        
Issued to: Health professionals, including those working in sexual health 

  • Eight cases of Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) due to serogroup C have been identified since May 2017 across Melbourne, almost all in MSM, with evidence of local transmission.
  • This infection can cause syndromes including meningitis and sepsis that progress rapidly and can cause death in up to 10 per cent of cases. Quadrivalent (A, C, W, Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine (4vMenCV) provides effective prevention for up to five years.
  • In response the Department of Health and Human Services is providing free 4vMenCV (Menactra™) for all gay and bisexual men and MSM, from Monday, 11 December 2017 until 30 June 2018.
  • Offer Menactra™ to all gay and bisexual men and MSM who reside in Victoria and have not received a meningococcal C antigen-containing vaccine in the previous five years.
  • Please bulk bill your patient in order to maximise access to this important public health initiative.
  • Report the administration of the vaccine to the Australian Immunisation Register.
  • Consider IMD in MSM who present with symptoms consistent with meningitis or septicaemia, notify the department without delay on 1300 651 160 and provide immediate antibiotic treatment.                  

More information
Read the full alert Outbreak of invasive meningococcal C disease in men who have sex with men (MSM)