Invasive Meningococcal Disease


Invasive meningococcal disease is a medical emergency and requires immediate professional attention. When you are ill with invasive meningococcal disease, you may have symptoms of meningitis or septicemia or both.

What are the symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease?

Symptoms develop two to 10 days (usually three to four days) after exposure and include:

  • sudden fever
  • drowsiness
  • irritability or fussiness
  • intense headache
  • vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • a skin rash that spreads rapidly and begins as reddish/purplish spots that don't disappear when pressed

Severe cases can result in hallucination, coma and, if untreated can lead to death.

What to do if you become ill

If you develop the symptoms of invasive meningococcal meningitis, see your health care provider immediately.

Make sure to tell him or her:

  • about your symptoms before arriving to prevent infecting others
  • if you have travelled recently to areas affected by meningococcal meningitis

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