Meningitis B causes
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A serious infection that can be spread through common adolescent and young-adult behaviours (sharing)

Meningitis B is a form of IMD caused by N. meningitidis serogroup B bacteria (MenB). MenB was associated with >50% of IMD cases in Canada between 2011 and 2015.

Although a MenB vaccine is available in Canada, it is not currently part of the routine immunization program.

Who is at risk?

After children aged 4 years and under, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 years have the highest rates of reported IMD in Canada.

IMD has historically occurred in:

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

How is MenB spread?

MenB can be spread through common adolescent and young-adult behaviours (sharing)

  • close contact could lead to meningitis
  • kissing could lead to meningitis
  • sharing could lead to meningitis
  • close quartered living could lead to meningitis
  • Up to 10% of healthy people may carry N. meningitidis bacteria without any symptoms.
  • Healthy adolescents and young adults are more likely to be carriers of this bacteria.
  • The carriage is highest in adolescents (20-30%).