Meningoccal Infection Facts
Meningococcal Infection Facts
Posted on 11/20/2012
In light of the recent incident involving the student at Northwest Arkansas Community College who passed away as a result of meningitis, the Springdale Public School District is actively communicating with its patrons to educate them about the symptoms of meningitis. Please read the fact sheet carefully and if your student shows any symptoms, you should see a physician or contact the Washington County Health Department.

What is meningoccal infection?
Meningitis is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.  Although several types of infection may occur, the most common are meningitis and septicemia (an infection of the blood).

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include fever, intense headache, irritability or listlessness, vomiting and rash.  Because the disease spreads quickly in the body, it is important to see a physician immediately if symptoms develop.

How is meningococcal infection spread?
The germ is spread by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat, such as kissing, coughing, sneezing and sharing cigarettes, drinks, and food.  Infection occurs most often during the winter and spring.

How can the spread of meningococcal infection be prevented?
The risk for this infection may be lowered by
-not sharing eating utensils, toothbrushes and cigarettes
-not drinking from the same containers
-not eating other people's food such as sharing a sandwich

What needs to be done for people who come in contact with meningococcal infection?
Most people who come in contact with this bacteria do not become sick.  Contacts of infected persons in households and child care centers are at the highest risk for becoming sick.

Persons who have not had direct contact with those who are infected are not at increased risk of the disease.  Direct contact means that contact has occurred with persons living in the same household or attending the same day care center.  Persons who have direct contact with a person who has meningitis should contact their physician immediately in order to prevent this infection from occurring.