PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET
How is Bacterial Meningitis spread?
It is spread through the respiratory droplets of an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It can also be spread by direct contact with nose or throat discharges of an infected person by kissing, sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils.
How is it treated?
Bacterial Meningitis generally requires hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, household members or very close contacts of the infected person are also treated with antibiotics to prevent the development of the disease.
How can we prevent Bacterial Meningitis?
Handwashing is important, especially after touching any oral or nasal secretions. If you have been directly exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, consult with your doctor immediately.
Vaccines are given to prevent some of the different types of bacterial meningitis. A vaccine to prevent haemophilus meningitis (Hib vaccine) is given as part of routine childhood immunizations. The pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar) is recommended for infants and children to prevent pneumococcal meningitis.
SYMPTOMS OF BACTERIAL MENINGITIS
- High fever
- Stiff neck and back
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Difficulty breathing