Meningitis Incidence and Prevalence

Approximately 70 percent of meningitis cases occur in children under the age of 5 and in people over the age of 60. In the United States, bacterial meningitis affects about 4,000 people each year, and viral meningitis affects about 10 people in 100,000.

Hib vaccine has reduced U.S. incidence of bacterial meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b by approximately 90 percent. The disease is more prevalent in people between the ages of 15 and 24 who have not been vaccinated.

Worldwide, bacterial resistance to penicillin and other antibiotics and the lack of access to vaccines accounts for rising rates of bacterial meningitis.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Dec 2001

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015