Meningococcal germs (bacteria) live harmlessly in the noses and throats of about 1 in 4 people. These people are called carriers. Meningococcal bacteria do not survive outside the body. Close contact is needed to pass them on to others, such as intimate kissing, coughing, or sneezing near to others.
Even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate therapy is instituted, the case-fatality rate in meningococcal meningitis ranges from 5-10%; it may exceed 40% in patients with meningococcal sepsis.According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 15% of those who survive are left with disabilities that include deafness, brain damage, and neurological problems.
Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia need urgent treatment with antibiotics and rapid admission to hospital. If treated promptly, meningitis and septicaemia are less likely to become life-threatening.Meningococcal meningitis can be fatal or cause great harm without prompt treatment; as many as one out of five people who contract the infection have serious complications.
Major research on disease:
Health Protection Agency Meningococcus Forum. Guidance for public health management of meningococcal disease.Meningococcus bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions like spit (e.g., by living in close quarters, kissing). Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is extremely important.