What is Meningococcal B?
Meningococcal B refers to a strain of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis that can cause meningococcal disease. The bacteria can invade the body and cause certain illnesses that are often severe and can be deadly, including infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream (meningococcal septicemia or meningococcemia).
This particular strain is associated with the serogroup B (types of Neisseria meningitidis), which is responsible for a significant number of meningococcal infections worldwide.
How to Prevent Meningococcal B?
Prevention of Meningococcal B includes practicing good personal hygiene, such as regular hand washing, and vaccination. Antibiotics to prevent illness (called prophylaxis) may be prescribed if you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with meningococcal disease.
Is Meningococcal B Vaccine Necessary?
The meningococcal B vaccine is currently the best method for preventing meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B strain. Vaccination is recommended by healthcare professionals, particularly for individuals at higher risk of exposure or those planning to travel to areas experiencing outbreaks.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease, with increased risks for:
- infants younger than one year old
- adolescents and young adults 16 to 23 years old
- people with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
The vaccine has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of Meningococcal B infection and its associated complications. Certain countries (eg. Saudi Arabia for Hajj) require meningococcal B vaccination for entry, and/or a booster depending on your immunization history.
To find out if your destination(s) require the Meningococcal B vaccine, consult a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here.
We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Is Meningococcal B Serious Disease?
Symptoms of Meningococcal B include:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck (neck pain and resistance to bending the neck forward)
- Petechiae / rash: small, red or purple spots on the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Confusion or altered mental status
- Joint or muscle pain
- Fatigue or lethargy
- In some cases, seizures or coma
Meningococcal B infections can progress rapidly and have the potential to be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can vary, and not everyone with meningococcal disease will experience all of them.
Available travel vaccinations and medications
We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:
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