Meningitis is a condition that affects the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can cause serious damage and lead to death. The condition can result at any age and is normally a result of bacteria or viruses. However, it can be caused by medications and other illnesses as well. Meningococcal vaccine, a vacine to prevent meningitis, is available and approved by the FDA and has lowered the amount of meningitis cases dramatically.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 3,000 cases of meningitis every year. Between 10 to 12 percent of these cases are fatal. Among the survivors of the disease, approximately 20 percent suffer long-term consequences, such as brain damage, hearing loss or kidney disease.
Newborn Baby Mortality
The mortality death for newborn babies with meningitis is up to 25%.
Infant and Older Children Mortality
There are three types of meningitis affecting infants and older children. Mortality rates vary from 3 to 5 percent of those with haemophilus influenza type b, from 5 to 10 percent of those with Neisseria meningitidis, and from 10 to 20 percent of those with Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Nearly one in four adults with acute bacterial meningitis die each year.
How Meningitis is Spread
Meningitis is spread through person-to-person contact and through air droplets from sneezing and coughing. Transmission of the disease can also result from direct contact with an infected person, such as through oral contact by sharing items like cigarettes or drinking glasses.