The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has received a report of a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis (meningococcal disease) in an adult Milwaukee resident. The MHD has identified close contacts to the case, and has provided appropriate information and medical resources, including the availability of antibiotics, to these individuals.
Meningococcal disease is spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions such as saliva or mucus, and is most commonly spread through direct, close contact with an infected individual, which can include kissing and sharing of beverages, eating utensils, and lip balm. It is not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.
Symptoms include rapid onset of a fever, headache and stiff neck. Other symptoms can include vomiting, rash, and confusion. Meningococcal disease can result in serious health consequences that require immediate medical attention.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics may be recommended for those in close contact with an infected person to decrease the risk of spreading disease. There are also vaccines available to protect against certain strains of bacterial meningitis. Individuals should consult with their health care provider about their risk for meningococcal disease and eligibility for vaccination.