IMD (Invasive Meningococcal Disease)
Find a clinic near you

A serious and potentially fatal bacterial infection

IMD is a serious bacterial infection caused by the N. meningitidis bacteria, which can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases including:

  • meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and
  • sepsis (blood poisoning)

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Intense headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Light sensitivity

Consequences include:

  • Death
  • Coma
  • Long-term health problems
    (in up to 1 in 3 survivors)
    • Hearing loss
    • Neurologic disabilities
    • Digit or limb amputations
IMD fatal

Even when the disease is treated early, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24-48 hours after symptoms start.

10% to 20% of survivors of meningococcal meningitis can suffer from long-term consequences, such as brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities.

Menigitis side effects

Who is at risk?

IMD has historically occurred in:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Camps
  • Other places where there are large groups of teens and young adults

Serogroup B: The most common cause of IMD*

Most common serogroups associated with IMD

There are 5 serogroups of the N. meningitidis bacteria most commonly associated with IMD: A, C, W135, Y and B.

serogroups causing IMD in canada between 2011 and 2015*

Meningococal Disease

Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB)

Not part of the routine immunization program

Men B vaccine

Meningococcal Conjugate C vaccine (MenC)

Part of the routine immunization program

Meningitis vaccine

Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)

Part of the routine immunization program in most provinces

* Data based on 659 IMD cases observed between 2011 and 2015