National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Meningococcal Infections is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Meningococci are a type of bacteria that cause serious infections. The most frequent is meningitis, which is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningococci can also cause other problems, including a serious bloodstream infection called sepsis.
Meningococcal infections can be spread from person to person. They are common in people living in close quarters, such as college students or military recruits.
In its early stages, you may have flu-like symptoms and a stiff neck. But the disease can progress quickly and can be fatal. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important. Treatment is with antibiotics. Since the infection spreads from person to person, family members may also need to be treated.
A vaccine can prevent meningococcal infections.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)