JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Meningococcal disease, a clinical and epidemiological review.

Meningococcal disease is the acute infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis, which has humans as the only natural host. The disease is widespread around the globe and is known for its epidemical potential and high rates of lethality and morbidity. The highest number of cases of the disease is registered in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. In Brazil, it is endemic with occasional outbreaks, epidemics and sporadic cases occurring throughout the year, especially in the winter. The major epidemics of the disease occurred in Brazil in the 70's caused by serogroups A and C. Serogroups B, C and Y represent the majority of cases in Europe, the Americas and Australia. However, there has been a growing increase in serogroup W in some areas. The pathogen transmission happens for respiratory route (droplets) and clinically can lead to meningitis and sepsis (meningococcemia). The treatment is made with antimicrobial and supportive care. For successful prevention, we have some measures like vaccination, chemoprophylaxis and droplets' precautions. In this review, we have described and clarify clinical features of the disease caused by N. meningitidis regarding its relevance for healthcare professionals.

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