According to the Centers for Disease Control, doctors call septicemia (a bloodstream infection) caused by Neisseria meningitidis meningococcal septicemia or meningococcemia. When someone has meningococcal septicemia, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and multiply, damaging the walls of the blood vessels. This causes bleeding into the skin and organs. Infection is very serious and can be deadly in a matter of hours.
Symptoms may include:
• Fever and chills
• Fatigue (feeling tired)
• Cold hands and feet
• Severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest, or abdomen (belly)
• Rapid breathing
• In the later stages, a dark purple rash Doctors treat meningococcal disease with a number of antibiotics. It is important that treatment start as soon as possible.
If a doctor suspects meningococcal disease, the patient will be given antibiotics right away. Antibiotics help reduce the risk of dying. Depending on how serious the infection is, people with meningococcal disease may need other treatments, including:
• Breathing support
• Medications to treat low blood pressure
• Surgery to remove dead tissue
• Wound care for parts of the body with damaged skin