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What should you know about meningococcal disease?

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Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by a strain of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. This invasive bacteria is one of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in children aged 2 to 18 in the U.S. Meningococcal disease can include meningitis -- a serious, potentially life-threatening inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord -- and/or a life-threatening blood infection. Meningococcal disease can cause limb loss through amputation, hearing loss, problems with the nervous system, mental retardation, seizures, and strokes. Fortunately, meningococcal disease is preventable, and the key to prevention is the meningococcal vaccine.

From: Meningococcal Vaccine WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011. CDC web site: "Meningitis Questions & Answers,"  "Meningococcal Vaccines: What You Need to Know," "Meningococcal Vaccination," "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Meningococcal: Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?" "Meningococcal vaccine side-effects," "GBS and Menactra Meningococcal Vaccine."

VaccineInformation.org: "Meningococcal Disease Vaccine."

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 26, 2017

SOURCES:

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011. CDC web site: "Meningitis Questions & Answers,"  "Meningococcal Vaccines: What You Need to Know," "Meningococcal Vaccination," "Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Meningococcal: Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?" "Meningococcal vaccine side-effects," "GBS and Menactra Meningococcal Vaccine."

VaccineInformation.org: "Meningococcal Disease Vaccine."

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 26, 2017

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How is meningococcal disease spread and who is most at risk?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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