Meningitis Awareness- Protect Yourself and Families Around You

Donia Dalal, MPH and Nitya Mangina, MPH, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Immunization

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In 2023, 422 cases of meningitis were reported in the United States, the highest annual number of cases reported since 2014.As of March 25th, 2024, 143 meningitis cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the current calendar year, an increase of 62 cases compared to this date in 2023.

Meningococcal meningitis is the most common form of bacterial meningitis in adolescents and young adults. People spread meningococcal bacteria to other people by sharing respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit). Those at increased risk for meningococcal disease include people in the same household, roommates, and anyone with direct contact with the patient’s oral secretions. Symptoms of meningococcal disease can first appear as a flu-like illness and rapidly worsen. Symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck, headache, and vomiting. The best way to prevent meningococcal disease is to get vaccinated.

There are 3 types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States: meningococcal conjugate or MenACWY vaccines (Menveo and MenQuadfi), serogroup B meningococcal or MenB vaccines (Bexseroand Trumenba) and pentavalent meningococcal or MenABCWY vaccine (Penbraya).

  • CDC recommends routine MenACWY vaccination for all 11- to 12-year-olds with a booster dose at 16 years old.
    • CDC also recommends some children and adults at increased risk for meningococcal disease receive the MenACWY vaccine.
  • Adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years old) may also receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. The preferred age for receipt is 16 through 18 years so adolescents have protection during the ages of increased risk.
  • MenABCWY may be administered to persons aged 10 years and older when both MenACWY and MenB vaccines are indicated at the same visits for: healthy persons aged 16-23 years when shared clinical decision making favors administration of MenB vaccine, and for persons aged 10 years and older who are increased risk for meningococcal disease.

The best place to receive recommended vaccines is through healthcare providers. Vaccines for children and teens are regularly available at the pediatric and family practice offices, schools, community health clinics and local health departments. Additionally, vaccines may also be available at pharmacies, workplaces, and other community locations, such as religious centers.

If you have been immunized in the State of Michigan, you may be able to download your immunization record from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Visit the Michigan Immunization Portal to learn more or contact your healthcare provider.

Health care providers recognize that invasive meningococcal disease may affect people of any age or demographic group. Healthcare providers are aware that patients may present without symptoms typical of meningitis. It is crucial to ensure that all your patients are up to date on all vaccines, including meningococcal vaccines.


  1. “American Society for Meningitis Prevention.” American Society for Meningitis Prevention, Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.
  2. “Cases of Meningococcal Disease Increasing in United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Apr. 2024,
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Mar. 2024, Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.
  4. “Surveillance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Mar. 2024, Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.
  5. “Meningococcal Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Nov. 2023,