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Special Thanks to Meningitis UK for supplying the information

Meningitis UK
Regsitered office: 25 Cleeve Wood Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 2SF
Registered Charity Number: 1076774
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 0117 373 73 73

What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the lining surrounding the brain. There are many different forms of Meningitis, including those caused by bacteria and viruses. It can also occur following serious head injuries.

What is Meningococcal Septicaemia?
This is blood poisoning caused by the meningococcal bacteria entering the blood stream and multiplying uncontrollably. It is important to remember that meningococcal septicaemia can develop without meningitis.

Symptoms of Meningitis

  • Floppy child / difficulty supporting own weight
  • Fever & vomiting
  • Confusion & drowsiness
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright light
  • Body stiffens/jerky movements

Symptoms of Meningococcal Septicaemia

  • Rash
  • Fever & vomiting
  • Confusion & drowsiness
  • Cold hands & feet
  • Rapid breathing
  • Abdominal/joint/muscle pain
  • Floppy child / difficulty supporting own weight
  • May also suffer diarrhoea

Other symptoms in babies may include

  • Tense or bulging soft spot (fontanelle) on baby’s head
  • Blotchy skin, pale or turning blue
  • Refusing to feed
  • High pitched cry /irritable especially when held.

Remember not everyone gets all of these symptoms and they can appear in any order. The majority of people with meningococcal septicaemia develop a rash of tiny red ‘pin prick’ spots, which develop rapidly into purple bruising marks. If you press a glass against the rash and it does not fade, it could be meningococcal septicaemia. If you suspect meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia then go straight to your GP or nearest Casualty Unit.

Meningitis UK – Who we are and what we do:
Meningitis UK aims to increase the understanding of meningitis through our ongoing awareness programme. We also fund a number of pioneering vaccine development research projects across the UK to find a vaccine to eradicate the disease. Since the charity’s inception in 1999, Meningitis UK has invested over £2million into preventative cutting edge research and public education.

Sadly, meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia continue to kill more children under five than any other infectious disease and there is still no vaccine to protect against the most common forms. Therefore, it is vital to raise awareness of the symptoms and the importance of early recognition so prompt treatment can be given, which can often mean the difference between life and death.