Our first random town hall meeting.

Writing and me.
3 min readSep 1, 2023

I want to address this because of how many people I have seen it confuse over the last few years.

Meningitis is the infection while meningococcal disease is the disease.

Meningitis is an infection of the membrane that covers the brain and the spinal cord. The most common type of this infection is the viral meningitis. It is most common and usually causes the least severe outcomes. I am saying the “least” because there are three groups of organisms that cause meningitis: bacteria, fungi and viruses.

As I was saying, viral meningitis is the most common, with the least severe outcomes, maybe because since it’s the most common, herd immunity usually follows after a particular population has had to deal with it over and over. Or maybe so much research has gone into it because it is the most common and as a result the most prevalent. In contrast, however, bacterial meningitis is the least common and causes the most severe outcomes. We all know how bacteria like to overdo.

The group of bacteria primarily implicated in the causation of this infection in some places like the United Kingdom is the meningococcal bacteria- Neisseria meningitidis. But some other groups of bacteria can cause meningitis, like the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and the bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease.

Neisseria meningitidis can also cause meningococcal septicaemia, or what we know in lay man’s terms as blood poisoning. So, this bad bitch actually causes both meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) and meningococcal septicaemia. And guess what, when Neisseria meningitidis touches some unlucky people, the disease presents as both.

So, how is it transmitted? Is it picked up in food? I will leave that one for you to go and discover. I’ll just tell you that early diagnosis is key, as with almost every health condition. Although the fatality rate for meningococcal disease is only 10%, I’m sure you don’t want to be among the 10%.

About 50% of all cases are confirmed in the lab with the help of blood samples or spinal fluid samples but in the remaining 50%, people just get diagnosed based on their symptoms and end up being placed on treatment before samples can be taken. By whom, you might ask? Me, I don’t know. Also, what are these symptoms that our mates (I mean regular people like you and I who aren’t doctors or any other kind of trained healthcare professional) just see and go “ahhh, na meningitis dey do dis pikin. go buy antibiotics com!”? That is your assignment too, my dear. Go, discover.

Meanwhile, indeed, the disease can be treated with urgent administration of antibiotics. Then, the patient needs to be managed in a hospital for appropriate observation. Go see doktor if you begin feel funny.

If you are serious about reading more, here are some resources for you:




Will you confuse meningitis with meningitidis, moving forward? I hope not.

Kindly clap for and share this article with your community to enlighten more people.

PS: I thank Denis Ngai for that amazing photo.


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