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Diagnosis & Treatment

Rapid progression can lead to devastating consequences

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Recognizing meningococcal disease

Recognizing meningococcal disease

Fever, runny nose, vomiting, and diarrhea are all common symptoms that likely each of us has had at some point in our lives. Most often, they are self-limited and caused by viruses, but they also may be the first signs of a serious illness caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. The lack of specificity of presenting symptoms is the exact reason that meningococcal disease, whatever the serotype, is frequently difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages. It presents like so many self-limiting viral illnesses, which can thereby potentially lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment; for example, it is often misdiagnosed as influenza.

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