Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is a serious disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis which causes meningitis and meningococcemia. Meningitis is a swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcemia is a blood infection.
Symptoms of invasive meningococcal disease include fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, and occasionally a rash. Babies infected with IMD may have a high fever, are difficult to wake, cry more than normal, lose their appetite, are irritable, and develop a rash. IMD is a serious illness; approximately five to fifteen percent of people infected die.
The vaccine is free in Ontario for the following groups:
- one year old children born after September 1, 2003
- 12 year old children
- youth who are 15-19 years of age
- people who have contact with person infected with meningogoccal disease due to serogroup C
high risk people of all ages with a medical conditions such as HIV and functional or anatomic asplenia