Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus. The two most common types of infections are meningitis (infections of the lining of the brain) and sepsis (infections of the bloodstream).
Symptoms are usually sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It can start with symptoms like flu, and will often also cause nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, rash, and confusion.
Meningococcal meningitis and bloodstream infections can be very serious, even deadly. The infections progress quickly. Someone can go from being healthy to very ill in 48 hours or less. Even if they get treatment, about 10 to 15 out of 100 people with meningococcal disease will die from it. Long-term disabilities from having meningococcal disease include loss of limbs, deafness, nervous system problems, and brain damage.
The vaccine protects against the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease that leads to infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, as well as bloodstream infections. It protects your child from long-term disabilities that often come with surviving meningococcal disease.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended Vaccination schedule.