What causes meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. This bacteria is present in the back of the nose and throat in about 1 in 10 people without making the person sick. They are called careers. Sometimes these bacteria attack the body and cause a disease called meningococcal.
There are 6 serogrups (types) namely A, B, C, W, X, and Y that causes the most disease in the world.
Transmission of meningococcal disease
Meningococcal bacteria spread in humans through sharing breathing and secretions of the esophagus (saliva). Usually the spread of the disease occurs due to contact for a long time or close (such as coughing or kis**sing). Fortunately, these bacteria are not easily transmitted like cold or flu germs. People cannot get infected by casual contact or by breathing the same air as meningococcal sufferers.
Meningococcal disease risk factors
The risk of contracting these bacteria increases in:
- People who live in the same place
- Anyone who comes into direct contact with secretions from the patient’s mouth.
Risk Factors for Meningococcal
- Human factors
- Complement component deficiency
- Functional or anatomical asplenia
- People with HIV
- Some genetic factors such as tumor necrosis factor
- Environmental factors
- Precursor viral infection
- Dense housing
- Active and passive smo**kers
- Occupation (microbiologist a and military members)
Meningococcal disease symptoms
Meningococcal symptoms initially appear like flu symptoms and worsen rapidly. The average incubation period is 3-4 days, with a time distance of 2-10 days.
Symptoms of meningococcal can you read here.
If you experience these symptoms and feel that you have been in close contact with someone with meningococcal disease, immediately consult a doctor to get the best treatment.
Meningococcal disease is very dangerous and can be deadly within a few hours. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important.
Meningococcal disease diagnosis
- Anamnesa and physical examination
- Laboratory examination
- Bacterial culture
- Gram Examination of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid=cerebrospinal fluid)
- Non-cultural methods
- PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) in blood, CSF or other specimens
- Antigen detection in CSF
- Serology test.
Meningococcal disease treatment
Meningococcal infections can be treated with some antibiotics. It is very important to treat as soon as possible. Antibiotics help reduce the risk of death. Treatment using the antibiotic Penicillin alone is recommended after the culture results test positive for Neisseria meningitidis.
Depending on how serious the infection is, meningococcal sufferers may need several other treatments such as:
- Breath aids
- Medications to treat low blood pressure
- Surgery to clean dead body tissues
- Treatment of wounds for parts of the body that the skin is damaged.
- Image: Dr. Brodsky. Modified by Mikael Häggström, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Paul Cochrane