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Meningococcal disease

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Fact sheet - Health conditions directory.

Meningococcal disease antibiotics for close contacts - Health conditions directory.

Meningococcal disease is a severe but uncommon infection that occurs when meningococcal bacteria invade the body from the throat or nose. At any given time, meningococcal bacteria are carried harmlessly at the back of the throat or in the nose in about 10% of the community. Although most people who have these bacteria in their throat or nose remain quite well, they are able to spread the bacteria to others, and a few of these people may subsequently become ill.

Meningococcal disease occurs in two main forms (or a combination of these two forms):

  • meningococcal meningitis - when the bacteria infect the lining around the brain and spinal cord
  • meningococcal septicaemia - when the bacteria invade the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning.

Public health management guidelines


Pathology laboratories

Attending medical practitioners/medical superintendents (or delegates)

Notification resources

Enhanced surveillance for public health units

  • Case report form (PDF, 428kB) - used by public health units to collect and manage more detailed information for enhanced case surveillance.

Clinical guidelines

Resources for health professionals


  • Immunisation – Queensland Health website for health professionals.

Related information

Epidemiological data and reports

Last updated: 5 June 2023

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Fax: +61 7 3328 9782
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