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

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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.