How is meningococcal infection prevented?

All those in contact with the patient, including the health staff, should take rifampicin 10 mg/kg twice a day for 2 days (5 mg/kg in infants less than 1 month) or ceftriaxone 125 mg intramuscularly once. This will treat and prevent colonisation of the upper respiratory tract. All contacts should be closely observed for signs of illness.

A short-lived vaccine against meningococcus can be used to help end epidemics. Overcrowding in schools, army camps and crèches should be avoided.

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