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A 41-year-old member asked:

Is there a difference between meningitis and meningococcal infection?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nicolas Melgarejo
Infectious Disease 20 years experience
Difference: Yes, there is. Meningitis is a syndrome, and the word actually refers to "inflammation of the meninges". Meningitis can be caused by many things, including infection, cancer, drugs and autoimmune entities among other things. However, the most common cause of meningitis are infections. Meningococcus can cause meningitis, but also sepsis, septic arthritis and bacteremia among other things.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Infectious Disease 23 years experience
Yes: Meningitis is a general term which refers to any process resulting in inflammation or swelling of the lining of the brain or spinal cord. Meningococcal meningitis refers specifically to meningitis caused by the bacteria neisseria meningitidis. Several bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites may cause meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is one of the most severe.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Mar 1, 2019

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