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Meningitis - meningococcal

  • Definition

    Meningococcal meningitis is an infection that results in swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

    See also:

    • Aseptic meningitis
    • Meningitis
    • Meningitis - cryptococcal
    • Meningitis - Gram-negative
    • Meningitis - H. influenzae
    • Meningitis - pneumococcal
    • Meningitis - staphylococcal
    • Meningitis - tuberculous

    Alternative Names

    Meningococcal meningitis


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (also known as meningococcus).

    Most cases of meningococcal meningitis occur in children and adolescents. Meningococcus is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children and the second most common cause of bacterial meningitis in adults.

    The infection occurs more often in winter or spring. It may cause local epidemics at boarding schools, college dormitories, or military bases.

    Risk factors include recent exposure to meningococcal meningitis and a recent upper respiratory infection.