Five Facts about Meningococcal Disease and Prevention

  1. Meningococcal disease is rare, but it can be deadly, leading to death in 10-15 percent of cases.
  2. 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.
  3. Adolescents and young adults are among those at greatest risk for meningococcal disease.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.