Meningococcemia is a severe form of blood poisoning that affects the entire body. It is also called meningococcal septicemia.
The hallmark sign of meningococcemia is a rash that does not fade under pressure. The rash can appear anywhere on the body due to damaged blood vessels allowing blood to “leak” into the skin.
Meningococcemia can occur at any age, but babies and young children are most at risk.
Direct contact with fluids from a person’s nose and throat, such as from sneezing, are the easiest ways to spread the disease. Overcrowding, sharing dining utensils, and kissing are also risk factors.
Doctors must diagnose and treat meningococcemia as quickly as possible. If a person receives treatment later, they can experience serious complications, such as hearing loss, mental disability, and amputation.
In this article, we look at the symptoms of meningococcemia, how a doctor would diagnose it, and how to treat it. We also explain how best to prevent meningococcemia.
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