About 10 per cent of the population carries the meningitis organism in their noses without ever developing symptoms.
Transmission happens from person-to-person via respiratory secretions & also from healthy carriers. Individuals can get infected in less than four days but the disease has an incubation period of up to 10 days.
The meningococcus bacteria cause two distinct illnesses: meningitis and septicemia. Meningitis is when the lining of the brain and spinal cord is affected & septicemia is when the blood is infected. Both illnesses can occur together.
Watch for symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness, drowsiness, skin rash. In younger children, the signs may be far less specific and may include lethargy, irritability, and poor feeding.
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