It's a rare infection and teens and young adults have the highest incidence of meningococcal disease, after babies and young children.1
This age group is the second most likely to develop meningococcal meningitis, after infants and young children up to four years of age.1 This is an age when many people mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria at the back of their nose and throat.
Up to 24% of 19-year-olds carry the bacteria without having any symptoms2
Even when meningococcal meningitis is diagnosed early and adequate treatment is started promptly, the consequences can be severe. Meningococcal meningitis can cause death in as little as 24 hours from the first symptoms.3
Meningococcal meningitis is usually spread by people who carry the bacteria in their nose or throat, but are not ill themselves.4