There are five major serogroups of meningococcal disease: A, C, W, Y and B. Serogroup B accounts for one-third of U.S. cases, and is the most common cause of disease in adolescents. Symptoms of serogroup B meningococcal disease are the same as for other serogroups.
Until recently, vaccines available and recommended in the U.S. only protected against serogroups A, C, W and Y. However, adolescents and their parents can now ask their healthcare provider about serogroup B vaccination. Click here to learn more about serogroup B vaccines.
Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease occurred on 20 college campuses from March 2013 to November 2017. These outbreaks, including those at Santa Clara University, the University of Oregon, Providence College, Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Barbara resulted in two deaths (University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Oregon). One student had both feet amputated and some students suffered neurological effects such as memory loss, difficulty retaining information and difficulty concentrating. At least three additional U.S. college outbreaks happened between 2008 and 2011. Click here for additional information on the recent U.S. college campus outbreaks.
The map below shows meningococcal disease cases on college campuses from 2013 to 2016. Serogroup B cases are noted in light yellow. While this graph only includes college cases (which are easier to track via the media), all young adults are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease.