Anyone at any age can get meningococcal disease, but some people have a higher risk for the disease. These include:

  • Adolescents and young adults*
  • Infants less than one year old
  • People living in crowded settings like college dorms or military barracks
  • Those with persistent complement component deficiency or anatomic or functional asplenia
  • People traveling to certain areas outside the U.S. such as the meningitis belt in Africa
  • Laboratory personnel who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
  • Those who might have been exposed to meningococcal disease during an outbreak

*Certain lifestyle factors among adolescents might contribute to their increased risk, such as:

  • Crowded living conditions (such as dormitories, boarding schools and sleep-away camps)
  • Attendance at a new school with students from geographically diverse areas
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Active or passive smoking
  • Social situations where there is crowding
  • Moving to a new residence

Headed to college?

We have a checklist to help make sure you’re prepared!