6 facts about meningococcal disease and prevention.
1Anyone at any age can get meningococcal disease, but teens and young adults are among those who are at increased risk.
2Although rare, meningococcal disease can develop rapidly and can claim a life in as little as one day. Even with treatment, 10 to 15 percent of those who get the infection will die from it.
3Among those who survive, as many as 19 percent live with permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.
4Meningococcal disease is contagious. The bacteria that cause the infection can spread when people have contact with someone’s saliva, like through kissing, coughing, sharing beverages or even cosmetics.
5Vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease, yet only half of U.S. teens have received the recommended second dose of the MenACWY vaccine at age 16.
6For the best protection against meningococcal disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine MenACWY vaccination for adolescents starting at ages 11-12 years, with a second dose at 16 years of age.