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Meningococcal Meningitis

Meningococcal Meningitis is an infection caused by a bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis, and is spread from person-to-person via exposure to infected respiratory droplets (e.g. sneezing, coughing or kissing).1,2 The disease is life-threatening and can result in long-term complications.1,2 It is also known for its potential to cause outbreaks or epidemics, with the impact being greatest on babies.2

Babies under 12 months of age have the highest incidence of Meningococcal Meningitis infection.3

Meningococcal Meningitis is spread through close personal contact, which puts infants and children in daycare, pre-primary classes and play groups at high risk of contracting the disease2

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What are the risks?

The consequences of acquiring Meningococcal Meningitis can be devastating.1 This disease can be fatal.1 Early diagnosis is very important as a healthy child can die within 24 hours of the first appearance of symptoms (e.g. sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever, vomiting, skin rash – but these do not always appear in babies, until it’s too late to treat them).2,4



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For survivors of this disease, there may be life-long consequences.1 These include:1,2



Loss of limbs/amputation

Brain disorders

Hearing loss

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Prevention is critical 

FACT: Meningococcal Meningitis is PREVENTABLE.1

FACT: BABIES are particularly vulnerable because of the relative immaturity of their immune systems.6

FACT: All healthy infants must be vaccinated with 2 doses of the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine before they are 2 years of age.1

FACT: The Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine is recommended for use in persons from 9 months of age.1

Protect your baby with the right dose of the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine, at the right time1

To fully protect your baby, they must receive 2 doses of the vaccine between the ages of 9 to 23 months.1 Delaying a second dose when recommended means your infant will not be optimally protected.5,6,7

FACT: Vaccination is a successful intervention for preventing Meningococcal Meningitis and the devastating effects it can have on your baby5

Protect your baby 2-day with 2 doses under 2-years!

Always consult your healthcare provider for any questions about Meningococcal Meningitis and/or vaccination.

Medical References

  1. Meiring S, Hussey G, Jeena P, et al. Recommendations for the use of meningococcal vaccines in South Africa, Southern African Journal of
    Infectious Diseases 2017;32(3):82-86.
  2. Batista RS, Gomes AP, Gazineo JLD, et al. Meningococcal disease, a clinical and epidemiological review. Asian Pacific Journal
    of Tropical Medicine 2017;10(11):1019-1029.
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Prevention and control of meningococcal disease:
    recommendations for use of meningococcal vaccines in pediatric patients. Pediatrics 2005;116(2):496-505.
  4. Moore J. Meningococcal Disease Section 3: Diagnosis and Management: MeningoNI Forum. The Ulster Medical Journal 2018;87:94-98.
  5. Zunt JR, Kassebaum NJ, Blake N, et al, on behalf GBD 2016 Meningitis Collaborators. Global, regional, and national burden of meningitis, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurol 2018;17:1061-1082. 
  6. Nadel S. Prospects for eradication of meningococcal disease. Arch Dis Child 2012;97:993-998.
  7. Noya F, McCormack D, Reynolds D, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of two doses of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine or one dose of meningococcal group C conjugate vaccine, both administered concomitantly with routine immunization to 12- to 18-month-old children. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 2014;25(4):211-216.
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