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Classification & external resources
ICD-10 A39.2-A39.4
ICD-9 036.2
DiseasesDB 8847
MedlinePlus 001349
eMedicine med/1445 


Meningococcemia is the presence of Neisseria meningitidis (also known as meningococcus), a severe bacterical infection, in the blood stream. It is demonstrated by blood culture.

The disease is hard to identify as it can appear in several different forms, depending on which part of the body the bacteria invade. There can be meningitis or septicaemia, or a combination of both.

Most cases of meningococcal meningitis occur in children. Early recognition and treatment of anyone exposed to meningococcus is extremely important to prevent serious illness or death. In cases of serious infection, sufferers may have to have limbs amputated as infected flesh dies off and may otherwise spread gangrene.


According to research, these are typical symptoms of infection. Not all of these symptoms will appear, and not necessarily in this order. Every child with purpuric rash and high fever should be treated as meningococcemia - until proven otherwise.

  • Rash, pinpoint red spots (petechiae)
  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Severe malaise
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Mental status changes

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Meningococcemia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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