Treatments

Bacterial meningitis can be severe and fatal and therefore requires immediate antibiotic treatment. If you notice symptoms of meningitis, do not delay, consult a doctor or go to the accident and emergency department immediately.

Antibiotic treatment

An invasive meningococcal disease can be fatal.

Antibiotic treatment must therefore be administered as soon as possible according to the bacterium concerned.

A vaccination is recommended after recovery, according to the bacterium concerned and the individual's vaccination status.

Prophylactic antibiotic treatment for friends and family.

The bacteria that cause cases of meningitis are contagious and are transmitted during close contact that lasts a number of hours (sneezing, bouts of coughing, kissing, etc.). 

For that reason, it is recommended that the close friends and family of a person affected by meningitis undergo prophylactic antibiotic treatment.


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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