Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Neisseria Meningitidis
Meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis is sometimes referred to as
Some people have Neisseria meningitidis in their throats without getting sick. But they can pass it
to another person, who may get sick.
causes meningitis in about 25% of the people who get the illness
every year in the United States.1
Neisseria meningitidis also can cause
outbreaks of meningitis. Outbreaks are most common
outside the U.S.
If you are planning foreign travel, particularly to sub-Saharan
Africa, talk with a doctor about getting the
Neisseria meningitidis vaccine. Small outbreaks occur
every year in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adolescents get 2 doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine.2 Children 9 months to 2 years old also should get the vaccine if they are at high risk of having severe problems from meningitis. The vaccine protects against
certain strains of Neisseria meningitidis. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
People who have contact with someone with a Neisseria meningitidis infection may need to take a course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading.
Roos KL, Tyler KL (2012). Meningitis, encephalitis,
brain abscess, and empyema. In DL Longo et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed., vol. 2,
pp. 3410–3434. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Updated recommendations for use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. MMWR, 60(03): 72–76. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6003a3.htm?s_cid=mm6003a3_e&source=govdelivery.
December 6, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.