Skip to main content

Bacterial Meningitis


What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord--also called the meninges.  It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria.  Viral (aseptic) meningitis is common; most people fully recover.  Medical management of viral meningitis consists of supportive treatment and there is usually no indication for the use of antibiotics.  Parasitic and fungal meningitis are very rare.  Bacterial meningitis is very serious and may involve medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and life support management.
There are two common types of bacteria that cause meningitis:
·  Strep pneumoniae cases pneumococcal meningitis; there are over 80 subtypes that cause illness.
·  Neisseria meningitidis-meningococcal meningitis: there are 5 subtypes that cause serious illness--A, B, C, Y, W-135

What are the symptoms?

Someone with meningitis will become very ill.  The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours.  Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms.

Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have:
·         Severe headache
·         High Temperature
·         Vomiting
·         Sensitivity to bright lights
·         Neck stiffness, joint pains
·         Drowsiness or confusion

In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots or bruises caused by bleeding under the skin.  These can occur anywhere on the body.  They are a sign of blood poisoning (septicemia), which sometimes happens with meningitis, particularly the meningococcal strain.

How serious is bacterial meningitis?

If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete recovery.  In some cases it can be fatal or a person may be left with a permanent disability, such as deafness, blindness, amputations or brain damage (resulting in mental retardation or paralysis) even with prompt treatment.

How is bacterial meningitis spread?

Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases like the common cold or flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.  The germs live by naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not for long outside the body.  They are spread when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, sharing drinking containers, utensils or cigarettes).
The germ does not cause meningitis in most people.  Instead, most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months.  Being a carrier helps to stimulate your body's natural defense system.  The bacteria rarely overcomes the body's immune system and causes meningitis or another serious illness.

What is the risk of getting bacterial meningitis?

The risk of getting bacterial meningitis is all age groups is about 2.4 cases per 100,000 population per year.  However, the highest risk group for the most serious form of the disease, meningococcal meningitis, is the highest among children 2 to 18 years old. 

How is bacterial meningitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood.  Spinal fluid is obtained by a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

How can bacterial meningitis be prevented?

Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes.  Limit the number of persons you kiss.
Vaccines against pneumococcal disease are recommended both for young children and adults over 64.  A vaccine against four meningococcal serogroups is available.  These four groups cause the majority of meningococcal cases in the United States.  This vaccine is recommended by some groups for college students, particularly living in dorms or residence halls.  The vaccine is safe and effective (85-90%).  It can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days.  Immunity develops within 7 to 10 days after the vaccine is given and lasts for up to 5 years.

What you should do if you think you or a friend might have bacterial meningitis?

Seek prompt medical attention.

For more information

Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources of information on all communicable diseases.  You may also call your local health department or Regional Texas Department of Health office to ask about meningococcal vaccine.  Additional information may also be found at the web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: and the Texas Department of Health:

District Calendar

Upcoming Events

Contact Information

Paris ISD
1920 Clarksville St
Paris, Texas 75460
Phone: 903-737-7473
Fax: 903-737-7484

Quick Tip Information

Quick Tip is a support system that allows students to communicate with school administrators. While the district already has many programs to help students deal with challenges such as bullying behaviors, stress, peer pressure, and family problems, Quick Tip helps break the code of silence often experienced by students because it allows them to report concerns to administrators anonymously.

Submit from App
SchoolMessenger Quick Tip app is available for both iOS (iTunes App Store) and Android devices (Google Play). Download SchoolMessenger Quick Tip App. When launching the app for the first time, you will be prompted to enter the school district code. The school district code is paristx.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not a crisis line. In cases of emergency, the site will direct students to call 911!

Opt-in for District & Campus Text Messages

Step 1: Your cell phone number must be on file at your child’s school.

Step 2: Text “YES” to 67587

For help information, text “HELP” to 67587.

To opt-out at any time, text “STOP” to 67587.

Message & data rates may apply.

Privacy Statement

School Messenger logo

March 2022 – March 2027


Paris ISD District of Innovation Cover page

District Calendar


Parent/Student Resources

Employee Links