Meningococcal Invasive Disease

Report Confirmed or Suspect Cases Immediately to the Local Health Department.

Meningococcal disease is any infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, or meningococcus. One serious infection it can cause is meningococcal meningitis - inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease can become very serious, very quickly.

 

Return to the main meningitis page.


Educational Materials

Meningitis versus Meningococcal Disease: there IS a difference
Having meningitis doesn't always mean you have meningococcal disease. And having meningococcal disease doesn't necessarily mean you have meningitis. For more information on the different types of meningitis, please visit:

For the Community

Parents and Caregivers

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Disease Prevention
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Rutgers University Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, 2016

Situational Update (06/05/2016)

In March and April of 2016, two undergraduate students at Rutgers University - New Brunswick were diagnosed with meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis, serogroup B. Close contacts of both students were identified and notified to receive prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics. Both students have since recovered.

Special testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the bacteria from the two students are genetically indistinguishable (a match). Although no common link has been identified between the two students, the bacteria causing the infections match. This suggests that the strain is present among undergraduate students in the Rutgers University - New Brunswick campus and that there is an outbreak. The strain at Rutgers University-New Brunswick differs from the strain that was associated with the 2013-2014 outbreak of meningococcal disease at Princeton University.

There are currently two vaccines licensed in the United States that help protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease, Bexsero® (GlaxoSmithKline) and Trumenba® (Pfizer). Based upon the molecular profile and additional testing of the specific outbreak strain at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, the best protection is expected with the full three-dose series of Trumenba® (3rd dose 6 months after the first). Therefore, CDC and NJDOH recommend that Trumenba® be administered to help protect against the particular strain present on the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus. While one or two doses of Bexsero® or Trumenba® will provide some short-term protection against the specific outbreak strain at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, the best protection is expected to require completion of the full three-dose series of Trumenba® with the second dose given 1–2 months after the first and the third dose 6 months after the first.

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and Rutgers University-New Brunswick, with support from CDC, strongly recommend that certain Rutgers University-New Brunswick populations receive Trumenba® during the summer of 2016. For more information on vaccination recommendations, please visit the Rutgers Student Health website: http://health.rutgers.edu/meningitis/

New Jersey (NJ) providers who participate in either the Vaccines for Children (VFC) or 317-Funded Adult Program should contact the NJ VFC program at 609-826-4862 or vfc@doh.nj.gov if interested in receiving Trumenba® as part of the outbreak response.

At this time, there are no recommendations to cancel any activities or scheduled events on the Rutgers University Campus. There are also no recommendations for the surrounding community to avoid contact with Rutgers or Rutgers students.

The NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and practicing healthy habits. Individuals should remain vigilant (have increased awareness) for signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.

Community Information

Healthcare Providers Information

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Princeton University Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, 2013-2014

Situational Update (07/17/2015)

An outbreak of nine cases of serogroup (type) B meningococcal disease, associated with Princeton University, occurred between March 2013 and March 2014. All nine cases were caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup (type) B. The NJDOH, local health officials, Princeton University Health Services (UHS), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), worked together to closely monitor the situation and stop the spread of disease. The University undertook a comprehensive effort involving numerous campus offices, student organizations and public health agencies to limit the illness and encourage students to get vaccinated. Ninety-eight percent of Princeton undergraduates have received at least one dose of the meningitis B vaccine and there have been no cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease occurring on campus or affecting Princeton students since November 2013.

As of March 2015, the risk of meningitis B at Princeton University is now considered the same as at any other university. CDC officials indicated that the risk level was reduced due to the passage of time since the last case.

NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and practicing healthy habits. Individuals should remain vigilant (have increased awareness) for signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.

For additional information, please visit:

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Last Reviewed: 8/10/2017