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MENINGOCOCCEMIA Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstreamthat commonly leads to inflammation of the blood vessels

(vasculitis). It is caused by abacteria called Neisseria meningitidis . T h e b a c t e r i a f r e q u e n t l y l i v e s i n a p e r s o n ' s u p p e r respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness. SIGNS & SYMPTOMS First symptoms:AnxietyFeverHeadacheIrritability/severe lethargyMuscle pain (myalgia)Nausea and/or vomitingRash with red or purple spots (petechiae)Later symptoms:Changing level of consciousnessLarge areas of bleeding under the skin (purpura)Shock CLINICAL MANIFESTATION Meningitis most common disease presentation, but this is not always the case. N meningitides infection - may rarely manifest as chronic meningococcemia that resemblesthe arthritis-dermatitis syndrome of gonococcemiaAcute meningococcal septicemia (also called meningococcemia) - most devastating form of the disease. INCUBATION Incubation period is short, ranging from 2 to 10 days, most commonly 3-4 days MODE OF TRANSMISSION Respiratory droplets e.g. sneeze or cough. Family members and close contacts are at increased risk. The infection occurs more frequently in winter and early spring. COMPLICATIONS Arthritis Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) Gangrene due to lack of blood supply Inflammation of blood vessels in the skin (cutaneous vasculitis) Myocarditis Pericarditis Shock Severe damage to adrenal glands that can lead to low blood pressure (WaterhouseFriderichsen syndrome)