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Meningococcal Disease (Neisseria meningitidis)
1990 Case Definition

NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

Clinical Description

Meningococcal disease presents most commonly as meningitis and/or meningococcemia that may progress rapidly to purpura fulminans, shock, and death. However, other manifestations may be observed.

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

Isolation of Neisseria meningitidis from a normally sterile site

Case Classification

Probable

A positive antigen test in cerebrospinal fluid or clinical purpura fulminans in the absence of a positive blood culture

Confirmed

A clinically compatible case that is culture confirmed

Comments

Antigen test results in urine or serum are unreliable for diagnosing meningococcal disease.



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