Meningococcemia is a disease caused by the meningococcus. The duration is from a few weeks to many months. The onset commonly occurs with an infection of the upper respiratory tract; the fever is moderately high and remittent at first; a maculopapular eruption is present over the body; transient joint pains without local signs may be the chief complaint; and although it is a septic embolic process, the patient's condition is good and the prognosis favorable. The meningitis is absent. The picture is so characteristic that it is believed that the diagnosis may be suspected when the patient is first seen. A positive blood culture for the meningococcus makes the diagnosis certain.
For days there may be a regular afternoon rise in temperature to 105 F., or this may occur every second or third day. With the fever, real chills or chilliness and headache may be present.
While the eruption is