Meningococcal disease is any sickness caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. These diseases are frequently severe and can be fatal. It may cause significant swelling of the tissues around the brain and spinal cord, as well as bloodstream infection; lung infection is also possible, although less often. Getting prescribed immunizations on time is the best way to avoid meningococcal illness.


The following are the most prevalent types of meningococcal disease:

  • Meningococcemia is an infection that primarily affects the blood, but it also has the potential to spread to other regions of the body.
  • Meningococcal meningitis is a membrane infection that affects the brain and spinal cord.


Meningococcal illness manifests itself in a variety of ways. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your physician immediately. Obtaining an early diagnosis is crucial.

Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Rash composed of dark pinpoints in red and purple or a larger region that resembles a bruise
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Photophobia┬á
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea

There is a possibility that you also have meningococcal illness based on other indicators, such as:

  • Aches and pains in the muscles and joints
  • Being drowsy
  • Grunting and groaning
  • Having a state of confusion or irritability
  • Having difficulty moving around or remaining upright
  • Not being hungry

In younger children, symptoms could include a refusal to eat, twitching or floppiness, or severe tiredness.


Meningococcal disease is challenging to diagnose since the symptoms are similar to other infections, such as the flu. To diagnose this condition, your physician must detect Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. As a consequence, your physician will take a blood sample and conduct a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to obtain spinal fluid for testing.

Your doctor will send these samples to a laboratory to determine whether or not the bacteria can be cultivated. If the results of the cultures are equivocal, your doctor may recommend more tests.


Antibiotics are used in the treatment of meningococcal diseases. If your physician believes that you have meningococcal illness, they will prescribe antibiotics prior to confirming your diagnosis. It is essential to begin counseling immediately.

Other therapies may be required, such as:

  • Low blood pressure medications
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Surgical procedures for treating damaged or dead skin

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