Parent and child

What parents know about meningococcal disease


We asked parents of young children in five countries what they know about meningococcal disease. Their responses will help focus our campaign to educate people about the disease and how to help protect against it.

Many parents of babies will be aware of meningococcal disease as ‘meningitis’, a commonly-used term for just one of the conditions the infection can cause. It’s a sudden, potentially devastating disease and while babies and young adults are particularly susceptible, babies are at the greatest risk [1],[2]The initial symptoms may vary and can be mistaken for other less serious infections. This is a concern because it may delay treatment of a disease that can rapidly progress within 24 hours [2] to become life-threatening. While most people survive, even after medical care approximately 1 in 5 survivors suffer life-long disability [3],[4].

Parent Survey infographic

Our survey of parents of young children (aged 4 years and under) uncovered information on parents’ awareness of meningococcal disease, the serogroups (or types) of bacteria that cause the disease, and attitudes towards immunisation. Through our disease awareness campaign Win for Meningitis, we want to use these insights to help raise awareness of the disease and how parents can help to protect their children from getting it.  See the infographic to find out more.

Win for Meningitis is a global awareness campaign, funded and organised by GSK. Throughout the campaign, GSK is working with the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO). Members of their global network of advocates for meningococcal disease prevention are contributing to the coordinated worldwide effort to raise awareness from World Meningitis Day on April 24th.

Find out more about the disease at ‘Behind the Science’, and share these pages to help us to raise awareness and create a #winformeningitis prevention.


[1] Rosenstein E, et al. Meningococcal disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2001; 344(18); 1378-1388

[2] Thompson MJ, et al. Clinical recognition of meningococcal disease in children and adolescents.Lancet 2006;367(9508):397–403

[3] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. Available from:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.pdf. Accessed October 2015.

[4] World Health Organization. Meningococcal Meningitis Factsheet N°141. November 2012. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs141/en/. Accessed March 2016.

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