Disease Report Investigation Process
What is meningitis?
The term “meningitis” describes any infection of the
covering of the brain and/or spinal cord, and may
be caused by several different organisms.
two main types of meningitis:
What are the symptoms of meningitis?
Signs and symptoms of meningitis may include:
Stiffness of the neck
Nausea and/or vomiting
Sensitivity to light
Are there differences in the illness caused by
the different types of meningitis?
Yes. Illness caused by bacteria such as meningococcal meningitis is generally more severe
than is meningitis that is caused by viruses (aseptic).
Viral/aseptic meningitis is more common than
bacterial meningitis. Viral or aseptic meningitis is
generally not life threatening, but bacterial
meningitis may be, and must be treated with
Preventive antibiotics are recommended
for household or close contacts of people with some
forms of bacterial meningitis such as meningococcal.
How is bacterial meningitis spread?
Meningitis is spread by respiratory droplets; through:
Sharing of kitchen
Are there general recommendations to avoid
this and other infections?
Recommendations include the following:
Practice good personal hygiene including
frequent hand washing
Do not share common eating utensils
Do not allow people to kiss your baby on the
Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or
What should I do if somebody I know has
symptoms of meningitis?
Advise the person to immediately see a physician or
go to the nearest Emergency Room.
Where can I get more information?
Contact your physician or the Southern Nevada Health District, Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.