from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A bacterium (Neisseria meningitidis) that causes cerebrospinal meningitis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A pathogenic bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, that causes cerebrospinal meningitis
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A coccus supposed to be the cause of cerebrospinal fever.
- n. See diplococcus intracellularis meningitidis (with cut).
In addition to 11 - and 12-year olds, meningococcus is currently recommended for 15-year-olds and college freshmen living in dormitories.
Because meningococcus is contagious, outbreaks can occur in childcare centers and schools.
The problem with making a vaccine to protect against meningococcus is that, although there are only five different types of meningococcus that commonly cause disease (types A, B, C, Y and W-135), it has been very difficult to make a vaccine that includes type B and meningococcus type B accounts for two-thirds of meningococcal infections in infants and one-third of meningococcal infections in adolescents and adults.
People exposed to someone infected with meningococcus during an outbreak if the type of meningococcus is one contained in the vaccine (types A, C, Y or W-135)
About 1in 20 children with meningitis caused by meningococcus and about 1 in 3 children with bloodstream infections (i.e., sepsis) caused by meningococcus will die from the infection.
Close contact in the week prior to the outbreak of meningococcus puts one at greatest risk of infection.
Fortunately, by the age of 2, most children are fully immunized against pneumococcus and Hib and soon most adolescents will be protected against meningococcus.
Each year, approximately 26,000 people die from meningococcus, 1.6 million from pneumococcus, and 400,000 from Hib.
If the bacterium was meningococcus, find out from public health officials whether it really was an outbreak of meningococcus and whether the outbreak was caused by one of the types contained in the vaccine (specifically, types A, C, Y or W-135).
Each year about 2,600 people in the United States are infected with meningococcus and 300 die.