Neisseria And Meningoccal Septicemia

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Meningococcemia is caused by a gram negative bacteria which infects the bloodstream, and is caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacterium. There are two forms of this illness: Meningococcal Meningitis, which occurs when the meninges become infected and swell; and Meningococcal Septicemia, occurs when the bacteria multiply in the bloodstream causing damage to the blood vessels, causing internal bleeding. Septicemia is the more serious form. Individuals at risk include people in daycare, cellmates, housemates, and especially those with a compromised immune system. There is no cure, however, if diagnosed early, a swift and powerful course of antibiotics can reduce the severity of the infection. This disease isn’t very common, however, when the …show more content…
Researchers are still unsure as to why some people are more prone than others, but people who are especially at risk for this illness are: Children, the elderly, day care workers, cellmates, and those with a compromised immune system. Up to 10 percent of people carry this bacteria, but they might not always get sick. If someone is carrying the bacterium, they can spread it through coughing, sneezing, and kissing. Even if it does manage to spread to other people, it still might not cause illness. The bacterium causes illness by breaking the protective lining of the nose and the throat. The disease is a repeated epidemic in Africa, and common in what is known as “The Meningitis Belt of Africa” which spans from Senegal to Ethiopia. Epidemics are more common during the dry season, when the dry winds can help the bacteria travel through the coughing and sneezing. The lack of understanding of disease, and lack of hygiene, also contributes to the spread of the disease, which is why the epidemics here are repeated. Meningococcemia is not zoonotic because …show more content…
Usually by coughing, sneezing, kissing, smoking, or prolonged exposure to someone who carries the infectious agent. The portal of entry is through the mouth and or nose. The portal of exit is through nasal secretions and or buccal secretions. Humans are the only natural reservoir for this disease because the bacterium only resides in the human throat. It can only survive for a few minutes outside its host, it quickly dies afterwards. In the Septicemia form, the bacteria multiply extremely fast in the blood stream and continuously release lipopolysaccharide, an endotoxin which causes septic shock as well as hemorrhaging of the blood vessels. This causes a purpuric rash all over the body, and can easily be mistaken for other diseases. The area affected in this form is basically the entire bloodstream. If it is the Meningococcal Meningitis for, then the bacteria has breached the blood brain barrier, and has now infected the spinal cord and the brain. At this point, if the person is not in a hospital when this happens, there is a very good chance that person will die. The meninges will inflame, causing intense headaches and stiffening the neck. Symptoms include the following: irritability, light sensitivity, intense

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