What is Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)?
IMD is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis.
How it spreads
The bacteria spreads through exchanging saliva during close contact (kissing or coughing), or through lengthy contact like living in the same space (with family or roommates).
The time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms is typically 3 - 4 days.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms can include:
sudden onset of fever
increased sensitivity to light
altered mental status (confusion)
Common symptoms for newborns and infants include inactivity, irritability, vomiting and poor feeding.
Complications may include nervous system problems, seizures, brain damage, learning disabilities, amputation of limbs and hearing loss.
Brought to you by
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Causes and Transmission, May 2019. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/
meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html. Accessed October 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Signs and Symptoms, June 2017. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Accessed October 2020.
NHS. Meningitis Complications, March 2019. Available at https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Meningitis/Pages/Complications.aspx. Accessed October 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Technical and Clinical Information, May 2019. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/clinical-info.html. Accessed October 2020
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using an Epi Curve to Determine Most Likely Period of Exposure - The Incubation Period. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/training/QuickLearns/exposure/2.html. Accessed March 2021.
Hamborsky I, Kruger A, Wolfe A. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Meningococcal
meningitis clinical features, July 2016. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/mening.pdf. Accessed October 2020.