Meningitis is the swelling (or infection) of the lining that covers the brain and spinal cord, called the ‘meninges’. Some types of meningitis are caused by bacteria; others are caused by viruses.
Bacterial meningitis is quite rare. The risk of getting it from someone else is very low, as it is not spread through the air. The highest risk of spreading occurs within the household; it can also be spread through kissing, sharing a toothbrush, or drinking from the same cup as another person who has bacterial meningitis.
People with bacterial meningitis can recover from it. However, sometimes bacterial meningitis can severely impact a person’s health or even cause death.
To reduce the risk of getting bacterial meningitis, ensure you are up to date on your immunizations. The routine NWT immunization schedule includes vaccines that protect people from the following organisms that can cause bacterial meningitis:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b, called "Hib" (for babies and young children)
For more information on meningitis, please see: