Meningococcal disease is contagious. It is spread through the exchange of respiratory secretions during close contact such as kissing or coughing on someone. Although meningococcal bacteria are very dangerous, they cannot live outside the body for very long. This means the infection is not as easily spread as a cold virus.
Approximately 600 – 1,000 people contract meningococcal disease ach year Of those who get meningococcal disease 10-15 percent die. Among those who survive, approximately 1 in 5 live with permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.
Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but treatment must begin early to be effective. Even if treatment is started as soon as possible, it might not prevent death or serious long-term complications such as hearing loss, brain damage, kidney disease or limb amputations. Unfortunately, it is not easy for healthcare professionals to identify and diagnose the infection in its early stages.
Major research on disease:
The epidemiology of acute meningitis in children.The disease still is associated with a high mortality rate and persistent neurologic defects, particularly among infants and young children.Meningococcal meningitis can be fatal or cause great harm without prompt treatment