Meningococcal diseases are infections caused by bacteria which can cause Meningitis. This often debilitating disease includes serious infections of the fluid and lining surrounding the brain (meningitis), bloodstream (bacteremia and sepsis), lungs (pneumonia), and joints (arthritis). CDC information
There have been many persons in the past who have contracted Meningitis, but survived. The story not told is what it cost them to survive. Anne Geddes, the famous children's photographer was asked to memorialize some of these victims. She did it, but spent a lot of time in awe of these wonderful people...
It is very important if you become ill with these symptoms that you see a doctor IMMEDIATELY for treatment.
- Sudden high fever (usually 102 F or more)
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiffness and pains in neck, or shoulders and back
- Rash, small red spots or larger reddish/purple “bruises”
- Extreme sleepiness or confusion
- Sensitivity to light
- Confusion, loss of consciousness/seizures
- Symptoms occur within 2-10 days (usually 3-4) after the person has been exposed and often begin suddenly
- Infants or small children may exhibit only fever and vomiting with irritability upon movement.
How is it spread?
Meningococci (the bacteria) are spread by direct, close contact with saliva, mucus, or droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person.
People who have had close contact with an infected person should check with their medical provider within 24 hours to ask about taking an antibiotic to help prevent getting the disease. However, the antibiotic is not always 100% effective, so watch for symptoms for 2 weeks after the last contact with the ill person.
There is a vaccine available that is effective in preventing meningitis. It is effective 7-10 days after inoculation. It can be obtained through your personal physician or at Uinta County Public Health. Please check for availability. Costs may vary.
Wyoming Department of Health
Heymann, DL.ed. Control of Communicable Disease Manual 18th Edition, Pickering, LK, ed. 203 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases n(Red Book), 26th Edition.