Meningitis Incidence and Prevalence

Most (approx. 70%) cases of meningitis occur in children under the age of 5 or in people over the age of 60.

In the United States, bacterial meningitis affects about 3 in 100,000 people each year, and viral meningitis affects about 10 in 100,000.

Hib vaccine has reduced U.S. incidence of bacterial meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b by approximately 90%. 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: 01 Jan 2002

Last Modified: 06 Aug 2010