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Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Meningococcal Disease?

Updated February 04, 2024


Children who develop invasive meningococcal disease are more likely to suffer complications, often resulting in long-term severe health problems. Serious and often permanent health problems can include hearing loss, seizures, visual impairments, skin necrosis and scarring resulting in the need for skin grafting or amputations, learning difficulties, anxiety, behavioral and emotional problems. When meningococcal disease is not fatal, between 10 and 20 percent of all survivors will have severe and often permanent health problems resulting from the disease.  

In a 2010 large-scale study on invasive meningococcal disease and the complications of meningitis and meningococcemia (septicemia) resulting from the disease, researchers found that individuals who developed meningitis from meningococcal disease had genetic markers in a number of genes that prevented them from fighting the meningococcal bacteria. Genetic variations in Factor H and Factor H-related proteins regulating immune system response to kill bacteria were found to play a role in the risk of meningococcal disease.   

NVIC “Quick Facts” is not a substitute for becoming fully informed about Meningococcal disease, meningitis and the Meningococcal vaccine. NVIC recommends consumers read the more complete information following the "Quick Facts", as well as the vaccine manufacturer product information inserts, and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child.

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