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  • Meningococcal ACWY
  • Disease Issues
  • Meningococcal B
  • Disease Issues

How common is meningococcal disease?

The incidence of meningococcal disease has declined steadily in the U.S. since a peak of reported disease in the late 1990s. Even before routine use of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine against serogroups A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY) was recommended for adolescents in 2005, the overall annual incidence of meningococcal disease had decreased 64%, from 1.1 cases per 100,000 population in 1996 to 0.4 cases per 100,000 population in 2005. In 2020, the rate of meningococcal disease in the United States reached a historic low of 0.07 cases per 100,000 population.

In 2020, of U.S. cases with known serogroup, 55 cases were serogroup B (incidence rate of 0.02 cases per 100,000 population) and 119 cases were serogroups C, Y, or W. The incidence of disease is extremely low in all age groups, but is highest in infants under 1 year (0.43 cases per 100,000), children age 1 through 4 years (0.12 cases per 100,000), and adolescents age 16–23 (0.09 cases per 100,000 years).

Last reviewed: July 15, 2023

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