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Travel Health Advice - Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease

What is it? A range of bacteria that cause a sudden onset of intense headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity and stiff neck. The disease is fatal in 5-10% of cases even with prompt treatment. However most infected people show no symptoms and act as a carrier of the disease. How is it transmitted? Direct person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets. Where is it present? Worldwide, mostly in crowded places. In temperate zones, outbreaks occur in winter months. In sub-Saharan Africa there is a zone from Senegal to Ethiopia where epidemics break-out during the summer months of November to June. Level of risk? Generally low. What can I do to prevent getting it? Vaccination and avoid overcrowding in confined spaces.


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