Meningococcal Infections

Meningococci are a type of bacteria that cause serious infections. The most common infection is meningitis, which is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningococci can also cause other problems, including a serious bloodstream infection called sepsis.

Meningococcal infections can spread from person to person. Risk factors include

  • Age - it is more common in infants, teens, and young adults
  • Living in close quarters, such as in college dorms or military settings
  • Certain medical conditions, such as not having a spleen
  • Travel to areas where meningococcal disease is common

In its early stages, you may have flu-like symptoms and a stiff neck. But the disease can progress quickly and can be fatal. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important. Lab tests on your blood and cerebrospinal fluid can tell if you have it. Treatment is with antibiotics. Since the infection spreads from person to person, family members may also need to be treated.

A vaccine can prevent meningococcal infections.

Symptoms of Meningococcal Infections

The following features are indicative of Meningococcal Infections:
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • photophobia
  • confusion
  • sudden fever onset

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Common Causes of Meningococcal Infections

The following are the most common causes of Meningococcal Infections:
  • neisseria meningitidis bacteria

Risk Factors for Meningococcal Infections

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Meningococcal Infections:
  • infants younger than one year old
  • adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
  • living in close quarters

Prevention of Meningococcal Infections

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Meningococcal Infections. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • meningococcus vaccines
  • maintaining healthy habits
  • not having close contact with people who are sick

Occurrence of Meningococcal Infections

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Meningococcal Infections cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Meningococcal Infections can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Meningococcal Infections can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Meningococcal Infections

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Meningococcal Infections:
  • Blood cultures: To detect and study a particular bacteria
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification: To determine the specific cause and determine proper treatment

Doctor for Diagnosis of Meningococcal Infections

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Meningococcal Infections:
  • Infectious disease specialist
  • Critical care medicine specialist

Complications of Meningococcal Infections if untreated

Yes, Meningococcal Infections causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Meningococcal Infections is left untreated:
  • loss of limb
  • deafness
  • nervous system problems
  • brain damage
  • raised intracranial pressure
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • seizures
  • circulatory collapse and organ failure
  • blindness
  • reduced IQ
  • gangrene leading to amputations

Medicines for Meningococcal Infections

Below is the list of medicines used for Meningococcal Infections:

Self-care for Meningococcal Infections

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Meningococcal Infections:
  • Wash hands thoroughly: Careful hand-washing helps prevent germs
  • Practice good hygiene: Don't share drinks, foods, straws, eating utensils, lip balms or toothbrushes with anyone else
  • Eat healthy diet
  • Cover your mouth: Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing
  • Avoid smoking: Avoid cigarette smoke

Time for Treatment of Meningococcal Infections

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Meningococcal Infections to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Meningococcal Infections Infectious?

Yes, Meningococcal Infections is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • sharing respiratory and throat secretions
  • coughing
  • kissing
  • close or lengthy contact with a patient with meningococcal disease

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Meningococcal Infections.

Related Topics


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