Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Control of Epidemic Meningococcal Disease

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Control of Epidemic Meningococcal Disease

Article excerpt

Meningococcal disease occurs in two clinical forms: meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia. Of these, the former is commoner, but responds well to treatment. In contrast, meningococcal septicaemia, although less common, is fatal, even when actively treated. Meningococcal meningitis is the only form that causes epidemics. These can occur anywhere in the world; however, the largest occur mainly in the semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa (African meningitis belt). Apart from epidemics, meningococcal meningitis occurs sporadically throughout the world, with seasonal variations, and accounts for a variable proportion of endemic bacterial meningitis.

A 71-page booklet containing practical guidelines on the control of meningococcal disease for health personnel and health authorities, at any level, has recently been prepared by a WHO Working Group.(k) The five chapters cover a range of topics, the most important of which are outlined below.

* The magnitude of the problem: review of epidemics of meningococcal disease since 1970 (periodicity and seasonality of the epidemics, epidemic (patterns); conditions favouring epidemics (serogroups and serotypes, immunity, and demographic factors); and meningococcal meningitis as part of bacterial meningitis (endemic meningococcal disease, other causes of bacterial meningitis).

* The disease: how to recognize and confirm meningococcal disease (signs and symptoms, physical examination, lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination, differential diagnosis); how to manage patients with meningococcal disease (antimicrobial therapy, supportive therapy, simplified management under difficult conditions); how to prevent meningococcal disease (vaccination, chemoprophylaxis). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.