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Health Advisory: Invasive Serogroup Y Meningococcal Disease Increasing in the United States

Summary

  • Invasive serogroup Y meningococcal disease cases are on the rise in the United States.
  • Cases are disproportionately occurring in people who are:
    • 30–60 years old.
    • Black or African American.
    • Living with HIV.
  • Washington has not seen an increase in cases.
  • Patients with invasive meningococcal disease may have bloodstream infection or septic arthritis, without typical meningitis symptoms (e.g., headache, stiff neck).
  • All eligible people should be up to date on meningococcal vaccination.

Increase nationwide

On March 28, 2024, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued a health advisory about the increase in invasive serogroup Y meningococcal disease in the United States. Washington has not seen an increase in cases. Washington had 4 confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in 2023. Providers have reported 3 confirmed cases so far in 2024.

Recommendations for healthcare providers

Invasive meningococcal disease can affect anyone. Current increases disproportionately affect people who are 30–60 years old, Black or African American, and living with HIV.

  • Keep an eye out for invasive meningococcal disease—If you suspect a patient has meningococcal disease, start antibiotic treatment, and get blood and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) cultures.
  • Be aware—Patients with invasive meningococcal disease may have bloodstream infection or septic arthritis, without typical meningitis symptoms (e.g., headache, stiff neck).
  • Notify—Immediately call (253) 649-1412 to notify the Health Department of suspected or confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal disease.

We can answer questions about meningococcal disease treatment or contact prophylaxis, including changes based on local meningococcal resistance patterns. Call us at (253) 649-1412.

Vaccine recommendations

  • Children should receive 1 dose of MenACWY vaccine at 11–12 years old and 1 booster dose at 16 years old.
  • Children and adults at increased risk because of medical or travel conditions should receive a 2-dose primary series of MenACWY vaccine and 1 booster dose every 3–5 years, depending on age.

More information