Exposure Criteria for Neisseria Meningitis Disease

Antimicrobial chemoprophylaxis of close contacts of patients with meningococcal disease (Meningococcal Meningitis and Pneumonia) is used to prevent transmission. The exposure criteria for close contact is as follows:

  • Anyone directly exposed to the patient's oral secretions, e.g. through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, endotrachael intubation, or endotrachael tube management such as bagging and suctioning.
  • Anyone who has provided 8 or more continuous hours of direct patient care to the infected patient.
  • Household members who are exposed to a person with the disease. Individuals who live with the exposed employees do not need antibiotic prophylaxis.
  • Exposure criteria applies to those employees who meet the above criteria within a 5 day period counting back from the positive culture results.
  • Patients are considered infectious for up to 24 hours after initiating antibiotic treatment.
  • No prophylaxis is required if any of the above contacts occurred after implementing standard droplet precautions.

If you meet any of the above criteria, you should start your antibiotic treatment within 24 hours of notification of your exposure.