How is meningitis spread?


Quick Answer

Bacterial meningitis is a contagious disease, so it can spread to other people through respiratory secretions such as mucus and saliva. Some causes of meningitis, such as meningococcal bacteria, cannot survive outside the body for long. This means that meningitis is not as contagious as viruses that cause flu and the common cold, as stated by the National Meningitis Association.

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Full Answer

Bacteria that causes meningitis can spread to other people through close contact with infected people. A person can also get meningitis by eating contaminated food that contains Listeria monocytogenes, as stated by the CDC. There are people who have meningococcal bacteria in the nose, but do not have any symptoms of meningitis. Such people can easily spread the bacteria to others.

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