It is a life-threatening bacterial infection that can affect the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or it can cause an infection in the bloodstream – or both. It is mainly caused by 5 types of meningococcal bacteria - ABCWY.
It can be easy to spread from person-to-person.
Early symptoms can often be mistaken for the flu.
Symptoms of meningococcal disease
It is more common among those 16-23.
College students are 5+ times more likely to contract MenB than non-college students.
50+ college campuses have reported cases of meningococcal disease (2013-June 2019), including 31 schools with MenB cases since 2008.
Meningitis B accounts for:
50% of all meningococcal disease cases among 17-22 year olds.
100% of all meningococcal disease outbreaks on college campuses in the US since 2011.
How can you help protect yourself?
Because meningococcal disease is mainly caused by 5 types of meningococcal bacteria - ABCWY - two separate meningitis vaccines are necessary to be fully immunized against the disease: MenACWY and MenB.
Talk to your healthcare provider today about BOTH the MenACWY and the MenB vaccines.
Most adolescents and young adults have received the MenACWY vaccine, but few have received the MenB vaccine. You are not fully immunized against meningitis if you have not received both vaccines. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends the vaccines be administered as follows:
And the really scary part... It can kill in a matter of hours.
Or cause permanent disabilities: brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities or limb amputations.
Important MenB Research
Click on the link to read the full article that supports each stat.
Stat: MenB is responsible for all US college outbreaks of meningoccocal disease since 2011.
Outbreak of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease at a University — California, 2016, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 27, 2016, 65 (20).
Stat: MenB accounts for 50% of approximately half of meningococcal disease cases among 17-22 year old.
Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreak and Carriage Evaluation at a College — Rhode Island, 2015, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 12, 2015 / 64(22).
Stat: MenB is more than 5 times more common in college students versus noncollege students.
Gary S Marshall, Amanda F Dempsey, Amit Srivastava, Raul E Isturiz, US College Students Are at Increased Risk for Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. piz024.
Stat: Many doctors are not talking to their patients about the MenB vaccine.
Kempe A, Allison MA, MacNeil JR, et al. Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations. Pediatrics. 2018;142(3):e20180344
Stat: More than 80% of parents have not heard of the MenB vaccine.
Basta NE, Becker AB, Li Q, Nederhoff D. Parental awareness of Meningococcal B vaccines and willingness to vaccinate their teens. Vaccine. 2019 Jan 21;37(4):670-676.
Stat: The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages pediatricians to discuss the availability of the MenB vaccines with families, and to document the discussion.
AAP COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES. Recommendations for Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine for Persons 10 Years and Older. Pediatrics. 2016;138(3): e20161890
Stat: A review of university-based outbreaks of Meningitis B and vaccination responses in the United States in the years following MenB vaccine availability.
Soeters HM, McNamara LA, Blain AE, et al. University-Based Outbreaks of Meningococcal Disease Caused by Serogroup B, United States, 2013–2018. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2019;25(3):434-440. doi:10.3201/eid2503.181574.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Causes and Spread to Others. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Signs and Symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html
(3) National Center for Infectious Diseases. Meningococcal Infographic. http://www.nfid.org/idinfo/meningococcal/meningococcal-college-toolkit/meningococcal-infographic.pdf
(4) Gary S Marshall, Amanda F Dempsey, Amit Srivastava, Raul E Isturiz, US College Students Are at Increased Risk for Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. piz024
(5) Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC, unpublished data, 2013
(6) Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC
(7) World Health Organization. Meningococcal meningitis. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/meningococcal-meningitis
(8) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-info.html
(9) Basta N, Andrew BB, Li Q, Nederhoff D. Parental awareness of Meningococcal B vaccines and willingness to vaccinate their teens. Vaccine. Volume 37, Issue 4, 21 January 2019, Pages 670-676
(10) Kempe A, Allison MA, MacNeil JR, et al. Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations. Pediatrics. 2018;142(3):e20180344
Last updated June 11, 2019