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Meningococcal meningitis in USA (Virginia State)

06 September 2023

A state wide outbreak of menincoccal disease has been reported in Virgina State according to press reports.

Twenty seven cases of Neisseria menintiidis type Y have been reported. Twenty six of these cases were not vaccinated.

To date the districts of Alleghany, Hampton, Henrico, Norfolk, Peninsula, Pittsylvania/Danville, Portsmouth, Roanoke, Southside, Virginia Beach, and Western Tidewate have reported one of more cases.

Meningococcal meningitis is an acute disease, caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides that can cause serious systemic infection. It is spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact with respiratory secretions.

Advice to travellers

Risk of infection for most travellers is very low (particularly for package tourists). Risk is increased for those travelling to a region with an ongoing epidemic:

  • who anticipate close, prolonged contact with the local population
  • who plan to visit overcrowded areas e.g. busy market places, or use public transport¬†
  • who plan to attend a mass gathering event
  • who have have immunodeficiency including asplenia
All travellers should be aware of the risk of meningococcal disease, its transmission routes and symptoms and advised to:

See the TRAVAX Meningococcal Meningitis page for further information.