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Neisseria meningitidisis a bacteria that can cause infections in the body. One area this bacteria can infect is the meninges. The meninges is the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial infection of the meninges, called bacterial meningitis , can cause death within hours. Quick diagnosis and treatment are vital.
The disease is usually spread by direct contact with discharge from the mouth or throat of an infected person (eg, kissing). In general, it is not spread by casual contact.
The disease is most common in:
- Infants aged less than one year
- People with certain medical conditions (eg, lack of spleen)
- College freshmen who live in dorms—increased risk
About 2,600 people in the US develop the disease each year. Approximately 10%-15% of these...