Meningococcal disease is contagious. The disease is transmitted
through air droplets and direct contact with infected persons (e.g.,
The bacteria attach to the mucosal lining of the nose and throat
where they can multiply. When bacteria penetrate the mucosal
lining and enter the bloodstream, they travel rapidly throughout
the body and can cause damage to many organs. The bacteria
cannot live outside the body for very long, so the disease is
not as easily transmitted as a cold virus. The disease
occurs most often in late winter and early spring.
Vaccination is the only way to potentially prevent meningococcal disease. It is also import to follow good hygiene practices, such as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands.
There is a vaccine available that protects against four strains of the disease, which account for approximately 70 percent of cases in the United States.
Courtesy of the National
Foundation for Infectious Diseases
The National Meningitis Association, Inc. P.O. Box 725165 - Atlanta, GA 31139 • 1.866.366.3662 (1.866.FONE.NMA)
Disclaimer: The information contained in this National Meningitis Association (NMA) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and NMA recommends consultation with your clinician or other health care provider. Information on this Web site is provided for informational purposes only.