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.

  • Vaccination with a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four of the five major meningococcal serogroups (A, C, W, and Y) is recommended for all adolescents at age 11-12 years with a booster dose at age 16 years. 

  • Two newer vaccines that protect against serogroup B, the most common cause of meningococcal disease in US adolescents, were recently licensed in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively considering recommendations for their use. At present, serogroup B vaccines are recommended for certain people at high risk of infection, including college students during meningitis outbreaks. Read more about recent US college outbreaks.

Talk to your healthcare professional to make sure that your child is fully protected against this deadly disease.

Learn more about meningococcal disease and the vaccines to prevent it in adolescents at and adults at

March 2015


Addressing the Challenges of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks on Campuses

NFID report examining the public health response to the recent outbreaks and strategies for appropriate and streamlined public health responses to future outbreaks

Addressing the Challenges of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks on College Campuses (11/17/14 Webinar)

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

Adolescent Meningococcal Disease

Adult Meningococcal Disease

CDC Meningococcal Disease Overview

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC Meningococcal Vaccine Information Statement

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Meningitis Foundation of America

Meningitis Information: Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community

Princeton University

Meningitis Myths and Facts

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

Meningitis Research Foundation

Meningococcal B Questions & Answers

National Foundation for Infectious Disease (NFID)

Meningococcal Vaccination

Improving Rates in Adolescents and Reducing Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Disparities: NFID Call to Action (July 2010)

National Meningitis Association

Preteen and Teen Vaccines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)