ABOUT MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE
Meningococcal disease, often referred to as meningitis, is an uncommon but serious infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis.1,5
What is it?
A person with meningococcal disease can develop meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain), septicaemia (blood infection) or pneumonia. It strikes and progresses quickly - usually without warning.1,5
There are different groups of meningococcal bacteria and groups A, B, C, W and Y most commonly cause disease. Group B is the most common cause of meningococcal disease in NZ, responsible for over 80% of cases in 2022.*6,7
*Of those cases that could be typed (56/69), November 2022 ESR data
ABOUT 1 IN 10 INFECTED WITH MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE CAN DIE, SOMETIMES WITHIN 24 HOURS.
AND UP TO 1 IN 5 CAN SUFFER FROM SERIOUS LONG-TERM COMPLICATIONS, INCLUDING BRAIN DAMAGE, DEAFNESS, AND LIMB LOSS.1,5,8
How is it spread?
The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease live within the nose and throat. They can be spread through everyday behaviours, including:7
COUGHING & SNEEZING
SHARING DRINKS & EATING UTENSILS
LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS
Early symptoms of meningococcal disease may appear mild — similar to those of a cold or the flu. However, symptoms can progress quickly and may include:12
Additional symptoms in babies may include: Cold hands and feet or shivering, being floppy or harder to wake, unusual crying, refusal to eat.
Additional symptoms in older children and adults may include: Headache, confusion, joint pain and aching muscles
DON’T WAIT FOR A RASH TO APPEAR BEFORE GETTING MEDICAL HELP. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY IF YOU SEE ONE OR MORE OF THE SYMPTOMS ABOVE.12