NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Friday was investigating a cluster of meningitis cases among HIV-positive gay men.

Three cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported in Brooklyn and Queens since Aug. 24, and two of the three cases have been reported since Tuesday, police said.

An outbreak in a similar demographic between 2010 and February 2013 with 22 cases and seven fatalities, the department reported.

The department recommended meningitis vaccination for all HIV-positive men with men. Vaccinations were also advised for men who regularly hook up with other men through a website, app, or at a bar or party – regardless of their HIV status.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, Health Department Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control Dr. Jay Varma said meningitis can be fatal if not treated immediately.

“You can get the bacteria in the nose or throat, and then it causes a very severe illness,” he said. “It’s transmitted when somebody is in prolonged close contact with another person, or have intimate activity such as kissing or having sex.”

Symptoms of meningitis are: high fever, headache, stiff neck, and rash that develop rapidly upon onset, according to the health department. Symptoms may appear two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. Anyone experiencing these symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical care.

Men who meet the vaccination criteria are urged to get the shot from their health care provider. Health Department clinics are also offering the meningitis vaccine to those who who cannot get the shot from a doctor.

Find a city health clinic through the Health Department’s Site Locator.

For more information about the vaccination recommendation, click here.

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