Understanding Meningitis

Educate yourself. Protect yourself.



With different terms, such as meningococcal disease, meningitis, and septicemia, understanding this disease can be challenging. Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness which includes meningitis (an infection of the protective layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia (blood poisoning). Meningitis can cause the meninges, or membranes around the brain or spinal cord to get dangerously inflamed, potentially causing brain damage. Septicemia involves a rapid spread of disease toxins throughout the bloodstream, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure and multiple organ failure.2,3,5,6 Together, they create a deadly, quickly-worsening disease that may be hard to diagnose, especially in its early stages.3,5 Meningococcal disease can take the life of an otherwise healthy child in 24 hours.8,9

Learn more about meningitis »



Meningococcal disease has cut short the dreams of many young people as well as devastated their families. As many as 1 in 10 people with meningococcal disease die.5 Up to 1 in 5 of the survivors can be left with serious medical problems that may include:

  • Amputation of limbs, fingers, or toes
  • Severe scarring
  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Kidney damage
  • Emotional and psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, difficulty working, and more:3,8



A Vaccine can help protect your children from getting meningococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis.1,3 Ask your doctor today about vaccinating  to protect your child against meningitis.


“Men B” Vaccine Breakthrough

For roughly 30 years, there has been only one meningitis vaccine available. It covered four of the five main strains of meningitis (A, C, W, and Y). But now, there is a breakthrough second vaccine available to protect against the fifth strain of meningitis, known as the B strain or “Men B.” The “Men B” strain is more commonly diagnosed in adolescents and has recently received attention for outbreaks on college campuses.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently voted for permissive use of the “Men B” vaccine for adolescents. As a result, families are encouraged to discuss this vaccine with their doctors and prevent their loved ones from contracting this deadly strain of meningitis. Please join Jamie’s cause and prevent what’s preventable. Make the appointment with your doctor today.


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