Meningococcal disease, also called meningitis, is a sudden and very aggressive illness that can kill a previously healthy child within 24-48 hours of the first symptoms, which typically start out as non-specific and mimic symptoms of the flu. Infants younger than one year old are at a disproportionately higher risk for contracting meningococcal meningitis due to their less sophisticated immune systems. While vaccines exist to protect against this deadly disease, they are not currently universally recommended for infants.
Meningococcal Meningitis a leading cause of preventable infant death in the U.S. One out of 16 infants who contract the disease will not survive. Among survivors, one in five will suffer seizures, blindness, amputation, paralysis or learning disabilities.