Meningococcal Disease (Neisseria meningitidis bacteria)

Symptoms

Bacteremia- sudden onset of fever, chills, tiredness, sometimes a rash.

Meningitis- fever, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, extreme sleepiness, confusion, irritability, lack of appetite, sometimes a rash or seizures.

Incubation Period

1-10 days, usually 3-4 days

Mode of Transmission & Communicability

The bacteria is spread through direct contact with secretions of the nose and mouth of an infected person; more common in households, childcare settings, or schools where there is close prolonged physical contact (e.g., through kissing, sharing food, beverages or toothbrushes).  Antibiotics to prevent meningitis are recommended for: Household contacts of the person with meningitis. overnight visitors, or people who had contact with the secretions of the infected person through kissing, by sharing food, beverages, chapstick or toothbrushes.

School Action

1. Refer for medical diagnosis and treatment.

2. Exclude from school until 24 hours after treatment is initiated, the child is without fever for 24 hours and is clinically well.

3. Report to the local health department (required by law).