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Meningococcal Disease 

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection.  It usually occurs in one of two forms: inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (meningococcal meningitis) or a severe blood stream infection (meningococcemia). 

Meningococcal infections are not common, and they are not as contagious as the germs that cause the common cold or the flu.  Infections can progress rapidly and be associated with severe outcomes, however, and quick medical attention and early antibiotics are critical.  

Keeping up to date with recommended vaccinations is the best defense against meningococcal disease.  Most cases are caused by serogroups B, C, or Y.  Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is recommended for all 11-18 year olds and college entrants; Serogroup B vaccine is recommended for certain high risk children and adults, see below for more details.

Alaska Surveillance Data

In the past five years, Alaska has received an average of 2 case reports per year.


All meningococcal isolates associated with invasive disease should be sent to the Arctic Investigations Program for serogroup typing.  For information on shipping isolates call 907-729-3400.

Resources for the General Public

Resources for Health Care Professionals

Meningococcal invasive disease is a public health reportable condition in Alaska.  Reports must be made immediately upon being suspected or diagnosed.  Please call the Alaska Section of Epidemiology at 907-269-8000.

Infectious Disease Program Resources

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