Meningococcal Meningitis is a serious bacterial infection which can affect the brain and the spinal cord. The are different forms of Meningitis, from which A, C, W, Y & B are the most common. The Meningitis ACWY vaccine is mandatory for pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah. Sub-Saharan Africa is high risk for Meningitis.
Commonly reported symptoms include:
- A high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
- Being sick
- A headache
- A rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but a rash will not always develop)
- A stiff neck
- A dislike of bright lights
- Drowsiness or unresponsiveness
- Seizures (fits)
1. How do you catch it?
Meningitis is spread mainly by coughs, sneezes or contact with someone who carries the infection. It usually occurs in epidemics and can affect any age group. It can spread quickly, especially in crowded places.
Try to avoid crowded places and close contact with local people, especially if you are travelling to an area where the risk for Meningitis is high. The Meningitis ACWY vaccination can be offered to people travelling to high-risk areas and is given to certain age groups in the UK as part of the routine schedule.
3. Vaccination options
The Meningitis ACWY vaccination should be considered by those intending to travel to destinations where there are heightened risks for travellers. The Meningitis ACWY vaccine is mandatory for pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah.
Number of doses? 1 dose
When to do the course? Ideally, no less than 10-14 days before travel.
Booster doses? The duration of protection is 5 years. After 5 years you would require another single dose if travelling to a high risk area. (Note for Hajj/Umrah: your Meningitis ACWY vaccination certificate is only valid for 3 years.)
Age restrictions? Vaccine is available for anyone above the age of one.
4. At Risk Destinations
Meningitis ACWY can be found in many of the Sub-Saharan countries. For some countries, the risk could depend on factors such as season/weather.
For a free risk assessment and expert advice, contact us today and speak with one of our dedicated healthcare professionals.