What is meningitis? Symptoms and signs to watch for

Meningitis is a highly contagious bacteria or viral infection that can spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretion, like spit, living in close quarters or by kissing. 

The illnesses are often severe and include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia), according to the Florida Department of Health


Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, confusion and rash.

Meningococcal vaccines protect against most types of meningococcal disease, although they do not prevent all cases, officials said.