ABOUT MENINGITIS B
FACTS ABOUT INVASIVE MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE (IMD) AND MENINGITIS B*
IMD is a serious bacterial infection caused by bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. Symptoms can be hard to diagnose and after the appearance of the first symptom, the infected person could die within 24-48 hours.
WHAT IS MENINGITIS B*?
There are five serogroups (A,C,Y,W135, and B) of bacteria N. meningitidis that causes majority of IMD. Meningitis B* is IMD caused by serogroup B.
Unlike serogroups A,C,Y, and W135, meningitis B* vaccination is not part of your vaccination schedule.
MENINGITIS B* IS 49.5% of all IMD CASES IN CANADA
In Canada, almost half (49.5%) of all IMD cases and the majority of deaths (52%) were due to meningitis B.*
WHO IS AT RISK?
In teens and young adults (15-24 years old), Meningitis B* was responsible for the majority (53%) of IMD cases (2012-2019).
Help protect yourself against Meningitis B*
HOW IS MENINGITIS B* OR IMD SPREAD?
Meningitis B* or IMD can spread from an infected person (including carriers) through:
- Coughing and sneezing
- Kissing or close physical contact
- Sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses
Carriers are those who carry the N. meningitidis bacteria without showing symptoms:
- Up to 1 in 10 healthy people are carriers
- They can remain carriers and symptomless for 6 months
- Healthy adolescents and young adults are the most common carriers of the bacteria (up to 30% carriage)
Because preventing the spread of germs is nearly impossible, getting vaccinated can help prevent meningitis B*
IMD has historically occurred in:
- Other places where there are a large number of teens and young adults
BEXSERO is a vaccine, for individuals from 2 months through 25 years of age, for the prevention of meningitis B.*
What are the symptoms and the consequences?
Early symptoms are like a cold or flu (e.g., fever, headache, aches and pains in joints and muscles), hence they can be difficult to diagnose.
Up to 1 in 10 patients die (typically within 24 to 48 hours of first symptoms).§
Up to 1 in 3 patients who survives experiences serious complications, including hearing loss, brain damage, and amputations.§
Meningitis B* starts quickly and may progress within 24 hours to serious, possibly life-threatening infections.§
* Invasive 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.
‡ BEXSERO is indicated for individuals as early as 2 months through 25 years of age.
§ BEXSERO does not treat or reduce the consequences of meningococcal disease, including meningitis, sepsis, and death.