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:

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Disease Prevention
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Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, Rutgers University – New Brunswick, 2019 (Updated February 2020)

As of February 2020, no new cases associated with this outbreak have been identified. Therefore, Rutgers University – New Brunswick is no longer considered to be experiencing an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease. The risk of serogroup B meningococcal disease at Rutgers University – New Brunswick is now considered the same as at any other university. Students should be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in accordance with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html.

In 2019, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Middlesex County Office of Health Services, and Rutgers Student Health worked closely together to investigate an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick. A total of two cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease were identified in Rutgers University – New Brunswick students. Both individuals became ill in February and subsequently recovered. No common link was identified between the two students.

The CDC performed special tests on the specimens from the two cases; the tests showed that the typing genes tested were identical between the two organisms. Two cases occurring over a short time with genetically related organisms suggested that there was an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick. The organisms identified in these two cases were not closely related to the organisms involved in the 2016 outbreak of meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

The NJDOH’s priority is to protect the health of children, adolescents, and adults, and to reduce the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases. Therefore, the NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and ensuring you are up to date with vaccinations. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.

 

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Last Reviewed: 10/30/2020