How meningitis is spread
The viruses and bacteria that cause meningitis can be spread through:
- sharing utensils, cutlery and toothbrushes
The infection is usually spread by people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat, but are not ill themselves.
The infection can also be spread by someone with meningitis, although this is less common.
It's possible to get meningitis more than once.
Who's most at risk?
Anyone can potentially get meningitis, but it's more common in:
- babies and young children
- teenagers and young adults
- elderly people
- people with a weak immune system – for example, those with HIV and those having chemotherapy
You can reduce the risk of getting meningitis by ensuring all your vaccinations are up-to-date.