Meningococcal - Meningitis

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Meningococcal - Meningitis
Meningococcal - Meningitis

Video: Meningococcal - Meningitis

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Video: Meningococcal meningitis: Doctor discusses causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention 2023, January

Vaccination against meningococci

Meningococci are bacteria that settle in the nasopharynx and cause meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) and blood poisoning (meningococcal sepsis). Meningococci are transmitted via droplet infection. The incubation period for meningococcal disease is one to ten days, usually less than four days. The disease can lead to death within a few hours in full health.


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  • Vaccination against meningococcal group B
  • Monovalent vaccination against group C meningococci
  • Vaccination against meningococci of group A, C, W135 and Y (MEC-4)

Meningococci occur worldwide, groups A, B, C, W135 and Y have the greatest importance for the occurrence of invasive diseases. In Austria there are around 20 to 100 cases of disease annually (approx. 50 to 74 percent due to meningococci of group B and ten up to 30 percent due to meningococci of group C). The disease occurs most often in the first year of life and in adolescents.

Only a few individual cases of infections with groups A, Y and W135 are currently observed in Austria. Classic high-risk areas for meningococci A or W135 are Africa and the Middle East: in Africa the Sahel zone, but also the East African lake district (e.g. Tanzania) and North Africa are affected. This disease is also native to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.

Meningococcal epidemics are favored due to the transmission as droplet infection when many people come together in a confined space.

The death rate from blood poisoning (sepsis) from meningococci is around 30 percent. Bacterial meningitis (meningitis) or sepsis and meningitis can also occur together. The overall mortality rate for meningococcal diseases in Austria in the years 2003–2017 was between five and 25 percent. During this period, 95 people (mostly children and adolescents) died of this disease. The survivors often suffer from severe damage to their health, such as neurological and developmental disorders, hearing loss, loss of body parts, extensive scarring or chronic pain.

For more information, see Meningococcal Meningitis and Bacterial Meningitis.

Vaccination against meningococcal group B

Child vaccinations: The vaccination against meningococcal B is not included in the free vaccination program. Due to the epidemiological situation, vaccination is recommended for all children and adolescents as early as possible from the age of 2 months in order to achieve protection against invasive meningococcal B diseases

Note If the vaccination is given together with other child vaccinations (six-fold, pneumococcal and measles, mumps and rubella vaccination), a fever can often occur. Therefore, when given with other childhood vaccines, preventive fever-lowering measures can be considered.

Adult vaccination: Vaccination can be recommended to all adults who want to protect themselves. Vaccination is indicated if there is an increased risk of the disease: in people with certain immunodeficiencies (such as a missing spleen), people who have close contact with meningococcal B patients (e.g. household contacts) and laboratory staff who have come into contact with meningococcal isolates

Vaccination is recommended for staff in pediatric wards, infection departments and intensive care units due to the severity of the disease, even if the risk of the disease is low. You can find detailed information in the current vaccination schedule.

Note For epidemiological reasons, it makes sense to administer the meningococcal B vaccination as early as possible. The age-dependent vaccination schedules for meningococci B must be taken into account. (For more information on the vaccination schedule, see current vaccination schedule).

Monovalent vaccination against group C meningococci

Child vaccination: The vaccination against meningococcal group C is not included in the free vaccination program. For small children and children from the age of 1 to the age of 10, a single administration of a vaccine against meningococci of group C (MEC-C) is recommended due to the epidemiological situation

Vaccination against meningococci of group A, C, W135 and Y (MEC-4)

  • Child vaccinations: The one-time vaccination with a quadruple meningococcal vaccine is included in the free vaccination program for schoolchildren between the ages of 10 and 13. MEC-4 for primary immunization in small children is not recommended due to the current epidemiological situation in Austria.

    - For children who have not been pre-vaccinated with MEC-C and who have received a tetravalent vaccination (MEC-4) between the ages of 10 and 13 as recommended, a booster vaccination can be considered five years after the initial vaccination with MEC-4 (in appropriate risk situations - e.g. B. at mass events).

    - For children who were vaccinated against MenC when they were young, a single vaccination with MEC-4 is recommended from the age of 10 to the age of 19.

    - If a vaccination against meningococci C has already been carried out in schoolchildren / adolescent age, an additional vaccination with MEC-4 can be carried out, whereby the usual minimum interval of one month for booster / partial vaccinations should be observed.

Adult vaccination: Adults (people at risk, travel vaccinations) are recommended to receive the conjugated quadruple vaccination once

You can find detailed information in the current vaccination schedule.

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