Meningococcal disease

This section presents data and statistics on meningococcal disease for children aged 0–14 years. You can download factsheets from the Downloads box.

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection. It can cause meningitis, blood poisoning (septicaemia), and even death. Household crowding increases the risk of meningococcal disease in children aged 0–16 years [1]. Second-hand smoke exposure is also associated with an increased risk of meningococcal disease in children [2,3].

On this page

 Deaths from meningococcal disease
35 notifications of meningococcal disease in children in 2016
Young children have the highest meningococcal disease notification rate
Māori, Pacific and children living in more deprived areas have the highest rates
Hawke's Bay and Northland DHBs had the highest notification rates in 2007–2016
Information about the data

Deaths from meningococcal disease 

A small number of children die from meningococcal disease each year in New Zealand. In 2014, two children aged  0–14 years died from meningococcal disease (Figure 1).

Figure 1:  Annual number of meningococcal disease deaths, children aged 0–14 years, 2001–2014
meningococcal disease deaths by year
Source: New Zealand Mortality Collection

35 notifications of meningococcal disease in children in 2016

In 2016, there were 35 notifications of meningococcal disease among children aged 0–14 years (Figure 2). 

Figure 2:  Number of meningococcal disease notifications, children aged 0–14 years, 2007–2016 
meningococcal disease numbers

The notification rate of meningococcal disease decreased from 2009 (8.5 per 100,000) to 2016 (3.8 per 100,000) (Figure 3). 

Figure 3:  Meningococcal disease notification rate, children aged 0–14 years, 2007–2016 (crude rate per 100,000)
meningococcal disease time trends

Young children have the highest meningococcal disease notification rate

In 2012–16, children aged 0–4 years had a much higher notification rate for meningococcal disease than children aged 5–14 years (Figure 4). 

Figure 4:  Meningococcal disease notification rate, by age group, children aged 0–14 years, 2012–16 (crude rate per 100,000) 
meningococcal disease age group

Māori, Pacific, and children living in more deprived areas have the highest rates 

Meningococcal disease notification rates were highest among Māori and Pacific children in 2014–16 (Figure 5). 

Figure 5:  Meningococcal disease notification rate, by prioritised ethnic group, children aged 0–14 years, 2014–16 (crude rate per 100,000)
meningococcal disease ethnic group

Children living in the most deprived areas had a much higher notification rate for meningococcal disease than other children in 2014–16 (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Meningococcal disease notification rate, by NZDep2013 quintiles, children aged 0–14 years, 2014–16 (crude rate per 100,000)
meningococcal disease NZDep2013

Hawke's Bay and Northland DHBs had the highest notification rates in 2007–2016

Hawke's Bay and Northland DHBs had the highest notification rates for meningococcal disease in children in the ten years 2007–2016.  There have been several regional outbreaks over this time, including an outbreak of meningococcal group C disease in Northland in 2012 [4,5].

See the factsheet for more details (in the Downloads box).

Information about the data

Meningococcal disease notifications

Source: EpiSurv notifications surveillance database, ESR.

Definition: Notifications of meningococcal disease in children aged 0–14 years. Rates have been presented per 100,000 children (or per 100,000 children per year, where multiple years have been combined). 95% confidence intervals are shown on the graphs.  

For more information about this indicator, see the metadata sheet (in the Downloads box).  

References

  1. Baker, M.G., McDonald, A., Zhang, J., Howden-Chapman, P. (2013). Infectious diseases attributable to household crowding in New Zealand: A systematic review and burden of disease estimate. Wellington: He Kainga Oranga/ Housing and Health Research Programme, University of Otago.
  2. Murray, R.L., Britton, J., Leonardi-Bee, J. (2012). Second hand smoke exposure and the risk of invasive meningococcal disease in children: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health 12:1062.
  3. Lee, C-C., Middaugh, N.A., Howie, S.R.C., Ezzati, M. (2010). Association of secondhand smoke exposure with pediatric invasive bacterial disease and bacterial carriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine 7(12): e1000374. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000374
  4. ESR. (2014). The epidemiology of meningococcal disease in New Zealand 2013. Porirua, Wellington: ESR. Available online:   https://surv.esr.cri.nz/PDF_surveillance/MeningococcalDisease/2013/2013AnnualRpt.pdf (accessed 14 Mar 2018).
  5. Mills, C., Sexton, K., Carter, P. (2013). Unanswered questions, the epidemiology of a community outbreak: meningococcal C disease in Northland, New Zealand, 2011. New Zealand Medical Journal 126(1373): 40–5.