Numbers

Meningitis in Belgium

The last big epidemic of invasive meningococcal diseases dates back to 2001 (meningococcus C). 

The incidence of cases of meningococcal diseases has dropped since 2002, in particular due to the introduction of the vaccination against meningococcal serogroup C. 

However, invasive diseases linked to meningococcal serogroup B currently arise most frequently in Belgium.

More information on the current epidemiology of meningococcal disease in Belgium.

Meningitis worldwide 

Strains of meningococcus A are most widespread in Africa and Asia; and B and C strains are most widespread in Europe and the United States.

Invasive meningococcal diseases particularly affect sub-Saharan Africa along the length of the “meningitis belt”, which stretches from Senegal in the West as far as Ethiopia in the East.

Epidemics arise in these regions every 7 to 14 years (OMS).

Information on vaccination against meningococcus in case of travel is available on the website of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp.

Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre (NRC) which provides epidemiological monitoring for the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) and Listeria monocytogenes (listeria). The Belgian Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) of Sciensano, together with the European OMCL network, is responsible for the quality control of the meningitis vaccine prior to marketing.

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