WHAT IS MENINGITIS

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					What is meningococcal                        What are the symptoms?                        How is bacterial meningitis
disease?                                                                                   spread?
                                             People become very ill very quickly.
•   It is an infection caused by bacteria                                                  •   Through contact with saliva
                                             Symptoms to watch for are:
•   The bacteria can cause a blood                                                         •   Through droplets from coughing or
    infection or meningitis, or both.        •   Sudden high fever                             sneezing
                                             •   Intense headache, and/or stiff neck       •   Through very close contact, as in
                                                                                               cuddling and kissing.
                                             •   Feeling very tired or weak.

                                             •   Sometimes vomiting
                                                                                           What about close contacts?
                                             •   A pinpoint rash or bruising often
                                                 appears where pressure to the skin        •   Medicine may be needed to protect
                                                 occurs (where socks or underwear              household members and other close
                                                 rub). It may appear as pink or purple         contacts from getting sick.
                                                 raised areas that become larger.
                                                                                           •   People who feel they may have been
                                             The rash is an important sign that this           exposed to bacterial meningitis
                                             person needs to see a doctor right                should contact the Health Department
                                             away. This is an EMERGENCY!                       to learn if they need to take the
                                                                                               medicine.
                                             •   Symptoms very quickly develop into
What is meningitis?                              irritability, confusion, drowsiness and
                                                 coma.
•   Meningitis is a serious illness of the                                                 What else?
    nervous system
                                                                                           •   See a doctor right away to diagnose
•   Diagnosis is made by testing the                                                           and treat this serious illness
    spinal fluid (spinal tap).
                                                                                           •   Use good handwashing.
•   Bacterial meningitis is life
    threatening and requires immediate
    care.
                                              Prevent
MCHD provides services without
regard to race, religion, color, national
origin, sex, age, marital status, mental
or physical disability, political           Meningococcal
affiliation or sexual orientation.


                                              Disease

If you have questions, call:


             Marion County Health Dept
             3180 Center St NE
             Salem, OR 97301

             (503) 588-5342
             (503) 588-5400 TDD




  03/2003 English - Meningococcal Disease