Meningococcal disease

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What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. This bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases including meningitis (infection of the brain lining) and meningococcal septicemia (infection of the blood). 

There are many different subtypes of the bacteria, but five of the subtypes (A, B, C, Y and W135) are responsible for the majority of meningococcal cases.

What is my risk? 

The risk is low for most travellers. Travellers at higher risk include:

How is it transmitted?     

What are the symptoms?

Can meningococcal disease be treated?

The infection can be treated with antibiotics.

The disease is fatal in 5-10% of cases even when diagnosed and treated early.

Where is meningococcal disease a concern?

Meningococcal disease occurs worldwide with seasonal variations.


Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

1) Get vaccinated

2) Protect yourself and others from the spread of germs

a) Wash your hands frequently:

b) Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:

c) Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.

3) Monitor your health

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