is caused by one of the most aggressive and virulent
bacteria commonly found in the back of the throat.
Meningococcal disease commonly
takes two forms:
- Meningococcal septicaemia
(blood poisoning) – This is the more dangerous
and deadly of the two illnesses. It happens when
the bacteria enter the bloodstream and multiply
uncontrollably, damaging the walls of the blood
vessels and causes bleeding into the skin. The
illness is called meningococcal septicaemia and
usually is associated with the purple rash. Septicaemia
can lead to death within hours, or permanent disabilities
such as scars and amputations. See the below animation
which shows how it travels through the blood system.
- Meningococcal meningitis (bacterial
meningitis) – If the bacteria are in the
meninges (the thin covering of the brain and spinal
cord), the disease is known as meningococcal meningitis.
There are many different forms of meningitis -
including fungal, viral and bacterial. Bacterial
forms, such as meningococcal meningitis, are the
most serious. This illness can result in permanent
disabilities - such as deafness or brain damage
- and even death. Symptoms may include a severe
headache, fever, fatigue, stiff or painful neck,
sensitivity to light or convulsions. See the below
animation which shows how it travels around the
brain and spinal cord.
THE INCUBATION PERIOD IS BETWEEN
TWO & TEN DAYS.
Always remember. Anyone at any time
is at risk of contracting meningococcal disease. There
still is no real understanding as to why we are able
to usually live with these bacteria in our airways,
but in rare cases our natural defence system is unable
Contracting meningococcal, surviving
and walking away to tell the story is like being blessed
by Lady Luck or miraculously favoured by the throw
of the dice.
MENINGOCOCCAL SEPTICAEMIA RASH
The single most specific and most noticeable
symptom of meningococcal septicaemia is a rash. The
rash occurs in two-thirds of cases.
joints is a early symptom.
are the forms the rash may take:
The rash must be taken seriously as
the person requires urgent medical attention. Sometimes
it does not appear until the disease is quite advanced.
The rash is caused by bleeding from
the bloodstream causing the blood to pool underneath
the skin. The bleeding occurs when blood vessels are
damaged by the release of endotoxin in large quantities.
Endotoxins are toxic protoplasms of
micro-organisms which are liberated and cause toxic
actions when the organism dies or disintegrates. Large
amounts of endotoxins will cause extensive damage to
small blood vessels. causing plasma (the fluid part
of blood) to leak out of the blood stream and causing
the person to go into shock. The blood pressure falls,
and the circulation is reduce to most parts of the
body. Is is difficult to correct the shock.
YOU MUST SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU
SUSPECT SOMEONE HAS CAUGHT THE DIEASE