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What are the symptoms of meningococcal disease?

Page last updated 24 July 2020

Meningococcal disease is potentially fatal, urgent medical advice at the nearest hospital is advised if someone displays symptoms of the infections.


  • stiff neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • photophobia (eyes being more sensitive to light)
  • nausea/vomiting
  • confusion
  • poor eating/drinking, low alertness and vomiting (babies)


  • fever
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • cold hands and feet
  • severe aches or pains
  • rapid breathing
  • diarrhoea
  • a dark purple rash in the later stages

Sources & Citations

2. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Meningococcal disease. Available at: (accessed June 2020).

3. Better Health. Victoria State Government. Meningococcal disease. Available at: (accessed June 2020).

7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal disease – Signs and symptoms. Available at: (accessed June 2020).

MAT-AU-2000217 - Date of preparation July 2020