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Bacterial Meningococcal Disease

What is bacterial meningococcal disease?

Bacterial meningococcal disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. They can infect the bloodstream, spinal cord, and the lining of the brain. It is essential to seek treatment, as this infection can be fatal. 

What are the symptoms of bacterial meningococcal disease?

Symptoms of this illness that affect the brain and spinal cord include:

  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Vomiting

Symptoms that affect the bloodstream are:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Rapid breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe pains and aches
  • A dark purple rash

What causes bacterial meningococcal disease?

The bacteria Neisseria meningitidis causes this illness, and it is spread through close and/or lengthy contact with an infected individual. About one in ten people have this bacteria living within them, but they do not show symptoms. 

How is bacterial meningococcal disease diagnosed?

It can be difficult to obtain a diagnosis for bacterial meningococcal disease as it shares its symptoms with many other conditions. This is unfortunate, as early treatment is best. After noticing the characteristic symptoms, doctors will perform a test on a sample of blood or cerebrospinal fluid to see if there is any bacteria. 

What are the treatments for bacterial meningococcal disease?

Early treatment is best for this illness. Antibiotics should be prescribed immediately. If the infection is severe, one may require assistance breathing, surgery to remove dead tissue, wound care, and medications for low blood pressure. 

Where can I find out more about bacterial meningococcal disease?

Bacterial Meningococcal Disease Articles