The bacteria that cause Meningococcal disease are spread in saliva and mucous from the mouth and nose of an infected person. They live only for a few minutes outside the body. Good hygiene provides effective protection against many infections.
- Cover one's mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Dispose of used tissues
- Wash hands
- Avoid sharing anything that comes in contact with the mouth
The following information is intended to help people assess their own risk when they know of a person who has meningococcal disease.
In a camp setting, many people live in close quarters. Because of the unique set up in each camp, public health officials will assess the degree of risk, and appropriate preventive action to take. The only people at risk are close contacts with the infected individual. Close contacts are those who have had significant direct contact with secretions from the mouth of nose of the infected person by
- Sharing the same living space
- Sharing anything that has been in contact with the mouth or tongue
Close contacts do not pose a risk to others and may stay in the camp setting and participate in camp activities.
Only close contacts of the infected person require preventive treatment. Depending on the circumstances, public health officials may recommend that close contacts receive antibiotics, vaccine or both to prevent additional cases of meningococcal disease. Friends, relatives and co-workers of close contacts do not require preventive treatment.
For more information about preventive treatment of close contacts, click here.
Index of Meningococcal Disease in Different Settings: