Meningococcal meningitis is the inflammation of meninges, the layer which covers the brain and spinal cord superficially. Septicemia and meningococcal meningitis are the two major diseases caused by meningococcal bacteria and is the main form of bacterial meningitis. Wide spread blood infection is also a meningococcal disease.
Causes of Meningococcal meningitis
Different types of bacterias causes meningitis but Neisseria meningitidis is the main bacteria causes Meningococcal meningitis.
Respiratory droplets and contaminated air particles with infected persons transmits the infection. Activities such as sneezing and coughing spreads bacteria to air. When the normal person inhales the infected air particles causes Meningococcal meningitis.
Lumbar puncture and collection of Cerebrospinal fluid is the main diagnostic procedure. The collected sample of Cerebrospinal fluid is sent to laboratory for bacterial culture. Bacterial sensitivity test is done and specific bacteria which causes meningitis is identified. In case of Meningococcal meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis is found in CSF culture.
Symptoms of Meningococcal meningitis
- Stiff neck,
- Sensitivity to bright light,
- High fever,
- Headache, increases with bending,
- Vomiting etc.
Cerebrospinal fluid is mainly infected with Meningococcal bacteria. Meningococcal meningitis is the result of consequence of bacteria entering meningeal layer and Cerebrospinal fluid.
Prevention of Meningococcal meningitis
Vaccination against Neisseria meningitidis is the main form of preventing Meningococcal meningitis. Different vaccines are used in different countries. At present vaccines available against Meningococcal meningitis are grouped as five groups, such as A, B, C, Y, AND W135. These are the main strains of meningococcal bacterias, causes meningitis in man. Menactra and Menomune are two commonly used vaccines.
Health maintenance and hygienic measures are helpful in preventing Meningococcal meningitis. The practices such as hand washing and avoiding sharing of food and water contaminated with human saliva prevents spreading of Meningococcal meningitis disease.
Treatment of Meningococcal meningitis
Avoid close contacts with infected persons and taking effective antibiotics helps in preventing the spread of infection.
Penicillin and ampicillin are the main antibiotics used to treat Meningococcal meningitis. Untreated meningitis is fatal and Immediate medical care is needed for recover from disease.