Meningococcal disease (meningitis) is a life-threatening illness that can occur suddenly.
The bacteria infects the blood, brain and spinal cord.
It is one of the most serious causes of meningitis (brain swelling).
The disease spreads from person-to-person through exchange of respiratory or throat secretions like saliva (by living in close quarters, sharing drinks or food, or kissing).
You can catch meningitis from a person who looks healthy.
The disease most often strikes older teens and young adults.
All preteens and teens need the vaccination against meningococcal disease. The first dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine or MenACWY should be given at 11 years old and the second dose at 16 years old.
Meningococcal serogroup B vaccine or Men B may be given to people 10 years old and older who are at risk due to certain health conditions and adolescents 16-18 years old because of certain exposures. Talk to your provider about this vaccine.