Meningococcal disease is a serious illness that usually causes meningitis. Rare forms of the disease include septic arthritis (joint infection), pneumonia and conjunctivitis .
People with meningococcal disease can become extremely unwell very quickly. Five to ten per cent of patients with meningococcal disease die, even despite rapid treatment. The disease has become less common in recent years and about 130 cases are now seen in NSW each year. Winter and spring are the peak seasons for meningococcal disease.
Meningococcal disease progresses very rapidly and early treatment is essential. Those most at risk are young children, young adults and those who have had close contact with people with the illness.
A vaccine exists for type C Meningococcal disease only.