Five Facts about Meningococcal Disease and Prevention
- Meningococcal disease is rare, but it can be deadly, leading to death in 10-15 percent of cases.
- Among those who survive, as many as 19 percent live with permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.
- Adolescents and young adults are among those at greatest risk for meningococcal disease.
- Prevention of meningococcal disease is critical because it can be mistaken for flu or other viral infections and it can rapidly lead to death or disability.
- Health officials recommend routine vaccination against four of five major meningococcal disease serogroups (A, C, W and Y) at 11-12 with a booster at age 16. Young adults between 16 and 23 years old should also ask a healthcare provider about vaccination against serogroup B.