Vaccine Rushed To Boston’s Homeless After A Death

The Boston Globe

Boston health officials are vaccinating hundreds of homeless people against a severe bacterial infection that can kill within hours, after a homeless man died Monday from the disease.

The victim was among three homeless men who recently came down with meningococcemia, which occurs when certain bacteria get into the bloodstream. The fatal case appears to be unrelated to the other two, which occurred in late January and involved a different strain of the bacteria, said Dr. Denise De Las Nueces, medical director of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, a nonprofit agency managing the response.

“It’s not a disease that’s seen frequently in homeless people,” De Las Nueces said. “The recent cluster of three cases has been unusual. That has sparked our response. . . . Our population lives in crowded conditions in the shelters. That puts them at increased risk.”

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