Meningitis - meningococcal

Meningococcal meningitis; Gram negative - meningococcus

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.

Bacteria are one type of germ that can cause meningitis. The meningococcal bacteria are one kind of bacteria that cause meningitis.

Meningococcal lesions on the back

Meningococcemia is a life-threatening infection that occurs when the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis invades the blood stream. Bleeding into the skin (petechiae and purpura) usually occurs and the tissue may die (become necrotic or gangrenous). If the patient survives, the areas heal with scarring.

Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system

The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

CSF cell count

CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. A CSF cell count is a test to measure the number of red and white blood cells that are in CSF.

Brudzinski's sign of meningitis

One of the physically demonstrable symptoms of meningitis is Brudzinski's sign. Severe neck stiffness causes a patient's hips and knees to flex when the neck is flexed.

Kernig's sign of meningitis

One of the physically demonstrable symptoms of meningitis is Kernig's sign. Severe stiffness of the hamstrings causes an inability to straighten the leg when the hip is flexed to 90 degrees.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention