Meningococcal meningitis is a sometimes fatal disease caused by the Neisseria Meningitidis bacteria. The disease causes severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord and sepsis (a serious blood infection). The disease is spread by airborne droplets and direct contact with an infected person. This includes coughing, sneezing, sharing food and drinks, sharing cigarettes or lip balm. Teenagers and young adults are particularly at risk for this disease.
Every year in the United States about 2500 people are infected and about 300 people a year die. Of the the survivors, 400 a year lose legs, arms, become deaf, have nervous system problems, mental retardation or seizures. Preventing meningococcal meningitis is important.
A vaccine is available to prevent the transmission of Meningococcal Meningitis. The vaccines can be obtained at the Pittsburg County Health Department, Choctaw Nation Health Clinic, or at your physician's office.