What are the symptoms of meningococcal meningitis?

The following symptoms appear between 2 and 10 days after infection, 4 days on average: 

  • headaches 
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • joint pains
  • photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • skin rash (red spots called petechiae, that don’t fade under pressure)
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • neurological symptoms (paralysis)
  • etc.

Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre (NRC) which provides epidemiological monitoring for the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) and Listeria monocytogenes (listeria). The Belgian Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) of Sciensano, together with the European OMCL network, is responsible for the quality control of the meningitis vaccine prior to marketing.


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