IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE

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 adolescents15 to 19 years of age.*

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.

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

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

Meningitis B was the leading cause of IMD in Canada from 2011 through 2015.§

Vaccination against meningitis B is not part of your child’s routine vaccination schedule. Find out where you can get the meningitis B vaccination by using the clinic finder below.

How is meningococcal disease spread?

The bacteria that cause IMD may spread through close contact with other people. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Kissing or close physical contact
  • Sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses

Some people can carry the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria without developing the disease.

  • 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.

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.

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

† 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.

§ Based on most recent data available.