There are several types of Meningitis out there to worry about. In children, meningococcus is one of the most common causes of bacterial meningitis. For children, teenagers and young adults, meningococcal meningitis is by far one of the deadliest. The symptoms presented with this form of meningitis can occur suddenly, and this infection can be lethal within the first 24 hours. Everyone should know all about meningococcal meningitis and how to prevent it. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this rare but deadly infection, and more importantly how to decrease your risk of contracting it in the first place.

Meningococcal meningitis is an acute gram-negative bacterial infection. The meninges are a protective covering for the brain and spinal cord. When the bacterium, Neisseria Meningitidis, enters and invades the spinal fluid, this protective covering becomes inflamed. This infection can spread quickly via the bloodstream throughout the body and it is considered a medical emergency.

Meningitis starts out like the typical flu. It presents with a high fever and generalized weakness throughout the body. This is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, and a mental status change. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound are other symptoms. One of the tell-tale signs is the development of a rash. The rash is characterized by red pinpoint spots, or purple bruise like areas especially on the distal limbs. If you or someone you know suddenly develop these symptoms, then call 911 or report to the nearest emergency room immediately. Meningitis can become life-threatening quickly so it is imperative that you do not waist time seeking help.

Complications of the deadly infection can include, but not limited to brain damage, mental retardation, hearing loss, deafness, myocarditis, paralysis, shock, and even death. With rapid diagnosis and hospitalization, antibiotic therapy can be intravenously given to combat this terrible infection with hopefully a good prognosis of recovery.

Meningococcal meningitis is spread via saliva and coughing, therefore it is contagious. One way to help prevent the spread of this infection is by not sharing drinks with others. Always practice good hygiene. Proper hand washing can prevent so many diseases. Get plenty of rest. Teens and young adults with poor sleeping habits have weakened immune systems making them more susceptible to contracting this infection. People living in close quarters with others such as in dorms or compounds should get the vaccination. Pre-teens and teenagers should also get vaccinated. If your are exposed to anyone with active meningitis you need to seek medical attention immediately, even if no signs or symptoms are presents. There are currently two types of vaccines available for this type of meningitis. Talk with your health care provider to learn all about meningococcal meningitis and how to prevent it from happening to you. Find out more about this important subject today and get the proper vaccinations for you and your family.