Though uncommon, once meningococcal disease strikes, it may be too late

10%-15% DIE1-3
Of every 100 patients who contract meningococcal disease, approximately 10 to 15 die from complications related to the disease—sometimes in as little as 24 hours
OF THE PATIENTS WHO SURVIVE,
UP TO 20% SUFFER
PERMANENT CONSEQUENCES
AS A RESULT OF THE DISEASE, INCLUDING1,4-6:
  • Seizures and other cognitive deficits
  • Loss of limbs and digits
  • Kidney damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Skin scarring
MOST PEOPLE WHO CONTRACT
MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE ARE HEALTHY, WITH
NO IDENTIFIED
RISK FACTORS7
5%-10%
OF PEOPLE ARE ASYMPTOMATIC
CARRIERS OF NEISSERIA MENINGITIDIS,

the bacterium that causes meningococcal
disease, which puts others at risk, including
unvaccinated adolescents and young adults in
close living quarters.1,8-9

SYMPTOMS OF MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE
PROGRESS
RAPIDLY2,8
AND ARE OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR THE FLU IN
EARLY STAGES, BUT CAN LEAD TO
DEATH WITHIN
24 HOURS
IN SOME PATIENTS2,3
TIME AFTER ONSET OF SYMPTOMS*

HEADACHE, SORE THROAT/CORYZA, THIRST, GENERAL ACHES, FEVER

DECREASED APPETITE, NAUSEA/VOMITING, LEG PAIN, IRRITABILITY

RASH, DROWSINESS, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, DIARRHEA, NECK STIFFNESS, COLD HANDS AND FEET, PHOTOPHOBIA, ABNORMAL SKIN COLOR

CONFUSION/DELIRIUM, UNCONSCIOUSNESS, SEIZURE, DEATH
Hypothetical case in an individual 15-16 years of age.

*Hours expressed as medians.9

Seizure was noted at a median of 26 hours.9

Even with appropriate treatment, the fatality rate is 10%-15% for patients with invasive meningococcal disease.1

Data were obtained from parents of test subjects via questionnaire (n=313) or interview with a study investigator (n=135). Parents were asked at what time of day their child's symptoms began, as well as the time of appearance of predefined clinical features. Additional data were obtained from medical records for the course of illness before admission to the hospital in 448 children (≤16 years of age) with meningococcal disease (345 nonfatal cases; 103 fatal). Diagnosis was confirmed with microbiologic techniques in 83% of cases (n=373). The remainder of the children (n=75) were probable cases.9

References: 1. Meningococcal vaccines for preteens, teens. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/features/meningococcal/. Updated April 18, 2016. Accessed April 7, 2017. 2. Meningococcal disease. In: Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation; 2015;261-278. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/mening.html. Accessed April 7, 2017. 3. Pelton SI. Meningococcal disease awareness: clinical and epidemiological factors affecting prevention and management in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2010;46:S9-S15. 4. Slack R, Hawkins KC, Gilhooley L, Addison GM, Lewis MA, Webb NJA. Long-term outcome of meningococcal sepsis-associated acute renal failure. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2005;6(4):477-479. 5. Vyse A, Anonychuk A, Jäkel A, et al. The burden and impact of severe and long-term sequelae of meningococcal disease. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2013;11(6):597-604. 6. Cohn AC, MacNeil JR, Clark TA, et al. Prevention and control of meningococcal disease: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. 2013;62(RR-2):1-28. 7. MacNeil J, Cohn A. Meningococcal disease. In: Roush SW, Baldy LM, eds. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 6th ed. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Updated April 1, 2014. Accessed May 27, 2016. 8. Granoff DM, Harrison LH, Borrow R. Meningococcal vaccines. In: Plotkin SA, Orenstein WA, Offit PA, eds. Vaccines. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008:399-434. 9. Thompson MJ, Ninis N, Perera R, et al. Clinical recognition of meningococcal disease in children and adolescents. Lancet. 2006;367(9508):397-403. 10. Meningococcal disease: causes and transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html. Updated June 11, 2015. Accessed May 27, 2016. 11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Active bacterial core surveillance (ABCs). Neisseria meningitidis, 2005-2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/abcs/reports-findings/surv-reports.html. Accessed May 27, 2016.

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