Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Meningococcal Meningitis Transmission

Facts about bacterial meningitis:

  • Meningitis outbreaks often occur in late winter and early spring.
  • People with bacterial infections release the bacteria into the air on droplets of mucus when they sneeze or cough.
  • The bacteria enters the lungs of others when they inhale the droplets.
  • Once you have been exposed to the bacteria that cause meningitis, it may take 2 to 10 days before symptoms develop.
  • People with bacterial meningitis are contagious for a week before they have symptoms.
  • Individuals are contagious until they have been treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

Continue to Meningococcal Meningitis Anatomy

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Meningococcal Meningitis References
  1. Chavez-Bueno S, McCracken GH Jr. Bacterial meningitis in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;52(3):795-810, vii. [1592566]
  2. Kaplan SL: Clinical presentations, diagnosis, and prognostic factors of bacterial meningitis. Infect Dis Clin North Am 1999 Sep; 13(3): 579-94, vi-vii. [10470556]
  3. Pfister HW, Feiden W, Einhaupl KM: Spectrum of complications during bacterial meningitis in adults. Results of a prospective clinical study. Arch Neurol 1993 Jun; 50(6): 575-81. [8503793]
  4. Sigurdardottir B, Bjornsson OM, Jonsdottir KE, et al: Acute bacterial meningitis in adults. A 20-year overview. Arch Intern Med 1997 Feb 24; 157(4): 425-30. [9046894]
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