Is Meningitis Contagious?


Quick Answer

Meningitis can be contagious. Bacterial meningitis may spread from person to person through contact with throat and respiratory secretions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes kissing, coughing and sneezing. Fecal contamination and respiratory secretions may cause viral meningitis.

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Full Answer

Meningitis may spread easily among people who live in close contact, notes WebMD. These places include college dorms, army barracks and child care facilities. Meningitis is a rare infection that affects the meninges, the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. In most cases, a bacterial or viral infection causes meningitis. The infection starts in other areas of the body, such as the sinuses, and then spreads to the brain.

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