What students and parents should know about meningococcal disease this school holiday season

GSK Australia
  • Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is rare and most people survive.1 However, even with appropriate medical care, up to 1 in 10 patients with IMD may die, typically within 24-48 hours of symptom onset.2 Up to 1 in 5 survivors may develop long-term disabilities.3
  • In 2023, 143* cases of IMD were reported in Australia.4
  • Although the bacteria that causes IMD is not easily spread from person to person, the risk of transmission can be increased if there is close and prolonged contact with a person carrying the bacteria.5
  • Early symptoms of IMD may be difficult to recognise, as they may be similar to a flu-like illness.6 The distinctive red or purple rash is an advanced symptom of the blood infection, which may or may not occur.5
  • Approximately 10% of the general population carry the bacteria at any one time,7 however, this varies by age, and typically peaks in adolescents and young adults.1 Most people will not become ill from carrying the bacteria, however, in a small number of people, the bacteria can cause disease.8
  • While meningococcal disease can occur at any age, children less than 2 years of age, and adolescents and young adults aged 15–24 years, are most at risk.9
/Public Release.