5 Different Types of Bacteria
This may be why they are sometimes confused for one another. Here’s the information you need to help tell them apart.
Bacterial meningitis is usually severe and can even be deadly. For example, though rare, meningococcal meningitis is a type of bacterial meningitis that can cause:
- Serious complications, such as amputations, scarring, and brain damage in about 1 in 5 people
- Death in 10%-15% of cases even when appropriate antibiotic therapy is used
Fortunately, most of the bacteria that cause meningitis are not as contagious as the viruses that cause the common cold or the flu. Meningitis-causing bacteria aren't usually spread through casual contact with someone who is infected. Rather, the bacteria that cause meningococcal meningitis are spread through the exchange of respiratory secretions (eg, kissing, sharing drinks, or sharing eating utensils) with someone who is infected.
Most importantly, unlike the most common forms of viral meningitis, the most common forms of bacterial meningitis are vaccine-preventable.
Though it can be fatal, viral meningitis is often less severe than bacterial meningitis. Most people with viral meningitis usually recover in 7 to 10 days without specific treatment. The most common forms of viral meningitis are not preventable with a vaccine.