The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a Health Alert Network Health Advisory to alert clinicians to cases of meningococcal disease linked to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Since April 2024, 12 cases of meningococcal disease linked to KSA travel: United States (5 cases), France (4 cases), and the United Kingdom (3 cases).

Recommendations for Healthcare Clinicians

  • Recommend vaccination with MenACWY conjugate vaccine for people considering travel to KSA to perform Hajj or Umrah (pilgrims) in addition to routine meningococcal vaccination for adolescents and other people at increased meningococcal disease risk
  • Maintain a heightened index of suspicion for meningococcal disease among symptomatic people who have recently been in KSA and among close contacts of people who have recently been in KSA, regardless of vaccination status
  • Immediately notify state, tribal, local, or territorial health departments about any suspected or confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in the United States
  • Preferentially consider using rifampin, ceftriaxone, or azithromycin instead of ciprofloxacin as prophylaxis for close contacts in the United States of meningococcal disease cases associated with travel in KSA