The North Dakota Department of Health says three people have been diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis in the past couple of months.
Two of those cases have been confirmed with lab tests. Meningococcal meningitis is rare in North Dakota, before 2019, the last confirmed test in the state was in 2014.
Meningococcal meningitis is a severe infection of the bloodstream and meninges (the thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord) caused by bacteria.
Symptoms include a fever along with either a severe headache, stiff neck or rash. You should contact your doctor if you are concerned.
“People in close contact with the individuals who tested positive have already been notified and placed on antibiotics to prevent them from getting the disease,” said Jenny Galbraith, immunization surveillance coordinator with the NDDoH.
There are two types of meningitis vaccines. The MCV4 vaccine is recommended for kids 11 or 12 years old. They should then have a booster at 16. In North Dakota students entering 7th-10th grades are required to have the vaccine, 11th-12th-grade students should have a second dose.