Combating meningococcal disease

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

April 29th, 2011

Editorial Team

‘Meningococcal disease is a contagious bacterial disease spread through respiration droplets of infected people. The onset of symptoms is sudden, the course dramatic, and death can follow within hours. ’

Combating-meningococcal-diseaseThere are three main clinical forms of the disease: the meningeal syndrome, the septic form and pneumonia.

The onset of symptoms is sudden and death can follow within hours. In as many as 10-15% of survivors, there are severe persistent neurological defects, including hearing loss, speech disorders, loss of limbs, mental retardation or paralysis.

Survivors can suffer persistent neurological defects. Up to 5-10% of a population may be asymptomatic carriers. The WHO says waning immunity among the population can lead to epidemics, as can overcrowding (such as in student dormitories) and certain climatic conditions.

Effective vaccines are available against most major serotypes (A,C,W,Y) of the bacteria. A vaccine against type B is under development.

Click here for more information on meningococcal disease

This article is part of a series compiled by Vaccines Today to raise awareness of European Immunization Week 2011 which runs from 23-30 April


  1. Payton


    June 26th, 2011

    This post is very usefull thx!

  2. zania mckenzie

    zania mckenzie

    August 16th, 2011

    Can you please advise what is the youngest safe age to immunize against meningococcal infection.

    • Gary Finnegan

      Gary Finnegan

      August 22nd, 2011

      Dear Zania,

      Thanks for your question. You’ll find details of recommended vaccine schedules for the UK here and here

      For readers in other European countries, the EUVAC website gives an overview of national immunisation and schedules is a good place to start.