With one man dead and three men seriously ill (one critically) the Department of Health wants you to know they are taking a recent outbreak of meningitis very seriously. And want you to take it seriously as well. Especially if you are a man who has sex with other men.

According to the DOH, in the past four weeks there have been four cases of an invasive meningococcal disease reported in the city. The cases appeared across several boroughs but the common factor was that the sick men, who range in age between 31 and 42, all appear to have had homosexual encounters and have all been infected with HIV (which puts them at greater risk for infection). So far one man has died from the disease and one is in critical care.

As the DOH notes, "this disease is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person. Examples of prolonged contact include living in the same household or intimate activities, including kissing and sexual contact."

If you are experiencing a high fever, headache, stiff neck or rash the DOH advises to you to immediately contact your health care providers.