What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococci are bacteria that can cause the life-threatening meningococcal meningitis or meningococcal sepsis (blood poisoning) in humans. Meningococcal disease is widespread worldwide, but repeated outbreaks occur primarily in the Sahel region of Africa between January and June. The disease is spread via droplets (e.g., coughing, sneezing, talking) or direct mucosal contact (e.g., kissing). Outbreaks occur more frequently in connection with large gatherings of people in confined spaces.