Meningococcal disease, or bacterial meningitis, is a serious infection in the protective membranes (meninges) of the brain and the spinal cord that affects fewer than 1000 people per year in the United States. Tragically, this fast acting illness kills 10 – 15% of those infected. Additional complications can include bloodstream infections (septicemia) that may result in brain damage, learning disabilities, deafness and loss of limbs by amputation. According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 10 folks have the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria in the back of their throat, but have no symptoms of the disease. These folks are considered carriers. Think twice before you kiss a stranger.
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