IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE

Meningitis B* was the leading cause of meningococcal disease in Canada from 2003 through 2011.

Meningococcal disease is very serious and can be deadly in a matter of hours.

Because symptoms begin mildly, like a cold or flu (e.g., fever, headache, aches and pains in joints and muscles), they can be difficult to diagnose.

It is caused by different strains of Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus bacteria), including the group B strain, also known as meningitis B.*†

Between 2006 and 2011, the highest incidence of IMD was in infants under 1 year of age, then children under 5 years of age, and then adolescents 15 to 19 years of age.

Meningococcal disease can cause serious, and sometimes life-threatening, infections including:

  • Meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)§
  • Sepsis (blood poisoning)§

Talk to your doctor about vaccination against meningitis B.* Find out where you can get the meningitis B* vaccination by using the clinic finder below.

How is it spread?

The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (including meningitis and sepsis) may spread through close contact with other people.

The germs that cause meningococcal disease may be carried and spread by people who are not showing any symptoms.

  • An individual infected with meningococcal bacteria can spread the disease up to 7 days before showing symptoms of meningococcal disease.
  • Up to 1 in 10 healthy people are carriers of the infection and may remain a carrier for up to 6 months without any symptoms.

Like the common cold, meningococcal bacteria may be transmitted by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat.

Everyday and sociable activities may spread meningococcal bacteria from person to person and may include:

Coughing and sneezing

Kissing

Sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses

Close physical contact

Because preventing the spread of germs—especially among children and adolescents—is nearly impossible, vaccination becomes an important consideration.

BEXSERO is a vaccine, for individuals from 2 months through 25 years of age, for the prevention of meningococcal disease caused by the Neisseria meningitidis group B bacteria.

What are the symptoms?

Because symptoms begin mildly, like a cold or flu (e.g., fever, headache, aches and pains in joints and muscles), they can be difficult to diagnose.

Up to 1 in 10 patients die (typically within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms).§

Of those who recover, up to 1 in 3 patients experience serious complications, including hearing loss, neurologic disabilities and amputations.§

Meningococcal disease starts quickly and may progress within 24 hours to serious, possibly life-threatening infections.§

§ BEXSERO does not treat or reduce the consequences of meningococcal meningitis, including meningitis, sepsis and death.

What are the causes?

  • In Canada, invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is most commonly associated with Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus bacteria) strains A, B, C, W-135, and Y
  • The number of cases caused by each of these strains varies from year to year

Talk to your doctor about vaccination against meningitis B.* Find out where you can get the meningitis B* vaccination by using the clinic finder below.

* Meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B strains.

BEXSERO is not expected to provide protection against all circulating meningococcal serogroup B strains and does not offer protection against strains A, C, Y, and W-135.

BEXSERO is indicated for individuals as early as 2 months through 25 years of age.