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Meningitis in Adults (cont.)

Meningitis in Adults Prevention

  • Antibiotics can be given to help prevent meningitis if a person has had the following:
    • Close contact with someone who has meningitis
    • Prolonged close contact (those who live, go to school, or are in jail with a person with meningitis)
    • Exposure to mouth, nose, or lung secretions (for example, kissing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation)
  • Even if preventive antibiotics have been given, anyone who has been exposed to someone with meningitis needs to seek medical attention if sore throat, fever, headache, rash, or neck stiffness develops.
  • Preventive antibiotics are not necessary for all cases of meningitis and are generally not necessary unless the doctor suspects or confirms that the meningitis is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis.
    • Incoming college freshmen who live in close quarters, such as dormitories, may be given a vaccine to prevent this type of bacterial meningitis.
    • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this group is at a small, but somewhat increased, risk for meningococcal meningitis.
    • Other college students may also elect to have the single-dose shot.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2014

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