Many young and middle-aged men flocked to Paddles, an after-hours sex club in Chelsea, at around four on a Saturday morning, to be vaccinated.
According to the New York Times, this is about a new, casually transmittable infection, a unique strain of bacterial meningitis, which has cast a pall over gay night life and the dating scene. Seven men have died in New York City, about a third of diagnosed cases, since 2010. In the last few months, the contagion seems to be accelerating. It has targeted gay and bisexual men, and the exact reason remains unknown.
“I’m hitting more than 700 today, my injections have gotten really good,” Daskalakis said. The owner of the club, Michael Aulito noted, “Dr. Demetre told me every person who gets a shot saves four other people.” He concluded, “If he gives 700 shots, that’s 2,800 people that he saved, an amazing number.”
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. Symptoms, such as fever, headache, stiff neck and a rash, appear fast and seem ordinary. The bacteria is carried in the nose and mouth. Though not as contagious as a cold or flu, it can be spread through kissing, sneezing or sharing a spoon, as reported in the NYT.
“It takes 7 to 10 days to take effect and provides up to five years of immunity,” Daskalakis informed the men handing them the consent form.
Daskalakis has 10 years of experience and practices in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. He has graduated from New York University and has received four awards. He has special expertise in five areas, including AIDS, HIV Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, HIV Infections, and Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy HAART.