neisseria meningitidis

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal (muh-nin-jo-cok-ul) disease is a serious bacterial infection that most often leads to severe swelling of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or infection of the bloodstream (meningococcemia). Even with treatment, approximately one out of every 10 people who get meningococcal disease will die; of those who survive, about two in 10 will have permanent problems including brain damage, kidney damage, hearing loss, or amputation of arms, legs, fingers, or toes.

NFID is committed to increasing awareness about meningococcal disease among consumers and healthcare providers and to prevention of meningococcal disease through vaccination.

In 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new type of meningococcal disease vaccine, called a conjugate vaccine. The conjugate vaccine is recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a number of major healthcare organizations (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College Health Association) for adolescents 11-12 years of age and, for those who haven't previously received it, at high school entry (age 15). The vaccine is also recommended for college freshmen who will be living in dormitories.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your child's vaccination status if they fall into any of these categories to ensure that your child or teen is protected against this potentially deadly disease.

Learn more about meningococcal disease in adults and the vaccine to prevent it.