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Gay and bisexual men urged to vaccinate against meningococcal after Melbourne outbreak

Gay men are being urged to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease after a sudden outbreak in Melbourne.

Health authorities are offering a free vaccine from today after eight men were struck down with the disease's C-strain since May.

Victoria's deputy chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said almost all the patients identified as gay or bisexual.

"Eight doesn't sound like a big number, but if this were to affect the whole of Melbourne at the same rate as it's affected men who have sex with men, we'd be talking about a couple of hundred cases over a few months," he said.

Meningococcal disease is uncommon but it can be deadly.

Ten per cent of cases are fatal within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis.

The bacteria lives in the throat and nose and is passed on through close and prolonged contact.

"That includes intimate kissing and we think that's what's driving transmission in this outbreak," Dr Sutton said.

Patients in the high-risk group who come down with a high fever, headache and light sensitivity should see their doctor or go to hospital.

Men can get the vaccine from their local GP as of today.


Saturday's Same Sex Marriage Rallies Get Some Serious Star Power

  • Published in Latest

It has been announced that actor Sir Ian McKellen will address the equallove rally for same-sex marriage rights in Melbourne on Saturday.

The news was posted on the Facebook page of the groups co-convenor, Ali Hogg.

This follows recent reports that Dannii Minogue will be attending the Sydney rally on the same day.

Activists are set to take to the streets this Saturday, May 15, all across Australia - calling for equal marriage rights. Perfect timing considering that the International Day Against Homophobia is on May 17.

Locations for other cities are:


May 15: Rally 1pm, State Library, cnr Swanston / La Trobe st, City.


May 15: Rally, 1pm, Sydney Town Hall


May 15: Rally, 1pm, Queens Park


May 15: Rally, 1.00pm, Petrie Plaza, Civic


May 15: Rally, 1pm, Parliament House, North Terrace


May 15: 1pm (Stalls, Banner Painting, Petitions & Information); 2pm (Community March / Demonstration). Location: Wesley Church, Cnr Hay St / William St, Perth CBD


May 15: Rally, 1pm, The Amphitheatre, Crown St Mall, Wollongong.


May 15: Rally, Details TBA


Next rally TBA: contact Darwin Gay Youth Network 1800 880 899


Next rally TBA: Contact

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