The brain and spinal cord are covered by layers of tissue. These layers are called the meninges. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.

Bacterial meningitis a serious infection. It is a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment. Depending on the severity of the infection, it can result in death within hours.

Bacterial Meningitis
Meningitis
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Bacterial meningitis can be caused by many different specific bacteria. The likelihood of having one type of bacteria over another varies by age group. Severity of the infection depends on the bacteria causing it and your the overall health of your immune system.

Transmission of the bacteria usually occurs by direct contact with oral or respiratory secretions, such as inhaling droplets from someone who sneezes or coughs, or by kissing. The spread of the bacteria depends on the time of the year, crowding, and the presence other respiratory infections.