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What is Meningococcal Meningitis?

Apr 07, 2017

What is Meningococcal Meningitis?

Meningococcal meningitis is the infection of the meninges in the brain which is caused by bacteria. Different types of bacteria can cause this infection, and depending on the type of the causative bacteria, meningococcal meningitis is classified into different types. This infection leads to the inflammation in the brain and the spinal cord and has some serious implications and also leads to death if left untreated.

Being a bacterial infection, meningococcal meningitis is communicable and can be transmitted from one infected person to a healthy individual. The most common mean of transmission of the disease is through physical contact or via contact with the saliva or other bodily fluids from the infected person. Meningococcal meningitis can also be transmitted by living with an infected person.

The symptoms of meningococcal meningitis are different in different people. The most commonly exhibited symptoms are:

  • General feeling of discomfort or sickness
  • High body temperature
  • Prolonged headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • Hypersensitivity to bright lights
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Painful joints
  • Changes in the mental balance
  • Skin rash that is reddish or purplish in color
  • Bulging portion on the skin
  • Sudden onset of uncontrolled movements
  • Short breaths
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Tremors or shivering
  • Paleness of the skin

Meningococcal meningitis is life threatening if not treated on time and can lead to death. If diagnosed, it should be considered as a priority to seek appropriate treatment. The most common and the only existing treatment for meningococcal meningitis is the prescription of anti-biotics. But in severe cases, the infected fluid is drained out from the spinal cord by performing a lumbar puncture.

Meningococcal meningitis has a history of occurring throughout the world in small outbreaks where a small group of people is affected all at once. In the third world countries, it can progress to a level of an epidemic and then would become very difficult to control. In some countries, vaccinations to prevent the infection are provided.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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