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Types of Meningococcal disease

Types of Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal meningitis is a serious infection of the membrane surrounding the brain. Meningococcal meningitis and other types of bacterial meningitis can be deadly despite the availability of treatment. One of the main problems is the difficulty in early diagnosis of these forms of meningitis because initial symptoms are similar to the flu. Unfortunately, meningococcal meningitis can progress within hours meaning that a delayed diagnosis may be harmful or fatal. The mortality rate for meningococcal meningitis is around 5-10% with good treatment or as high as 50% without treatment.

Meningococcal septicemia is blood poisoning with the bacteria (see septicemia or bacteremia) and, although less common, is actually more severe than the meningitis. Meningococcal septicemia is a rapidly progressing condition that is very dangerous with a mortality rate reportedly around 40%.

Less than 5% of cases are other rarer types of meningococcal disease where the bacteria affect other body parts. These include meningococcemia (a milder form of bacteremia without the severe symptoms of septicemia), pneumonia, arthritis, or meningococcal infections of the heart, eyes, or bone.

Meningococcal disease: Types list

The list of types of Meningococcal disease mentioned in various sources includes:

  • Subtypes by body part attacked:
    • Meningococcal septicemia - blood poisoning from the bacteria
    • Meningococcemia - a mild form of blood poisoning not as severe as septicemia
  • Subtypes based on serogroup:
    • Meningococcus A - most common in Africa; causes epidemics.
    • Meningococcus B - about a third of US cases; usually sporadic rather than epidemic.
    • Meningococcus C - about a third of US cases; can cause epidemics.
    • Meningococcus W135
    • Meningococcus X
    • Meningococcus Y - about a quarter of US cases
    • Meningococcus Z

Rare Types of Meningococcal disease:

Meningococcal disease: Rare Types

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Meningococcal disease: Related Disease Topics

More general medical disease topics related to Meningococcal disease include:

Research More About Meningococcal disease


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