Meningococcal disease is most common in very young infants, teens, and young adults, and those older than 65 years. College students, especially freshmen who live in dorms and military recruits, are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease caused by serogroups C and Y compared with others in this age group. Though there have been a number of meningococcal serogroup B outbreaks on college campuses in the past decade, college students are not at increased risk for meningococcal serogroup B disease.

It’s important to know how to protect yourself because meningococcal disease can be deadly. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about this serious illness, safe and effective vaccines, and how to stay healthy.

Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitides (often called meningococcus). There are different serogroups (types) of meningococcus. The serogroups that most commonly cause disease worldwide are A,...

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