Invasive Meningococcal Disease
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Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges (the lining of the brain and spinal cord). There are many types of meningitis. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus or other organisms.
Invasive meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria can invade the body causing serious illness, like meningitis. It can also cause septicemia—an infection of the bloodstream.
Invasive meningococcal disease is found worldwide. In Canada, infection often happens during the winter and spring months. There is an average of almost 200 cases per year in Canada.
Symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease happen between two to 10 days after exposure, most typically between 3-4 days.
Severe cases may lead to death.
People can be carriers of the bacteria without knowing it. The risk is that it could become invasive, or passed on to children and others who are not immunized.
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