Many people believe that meningitis only affects babies and children, but this is far from the truth. Adults are actually at an increased risk of meningitis as immune systems weaken as we get older. There is an estimated 3,300 cases of Meningitis and Septicaemia every year, meaning every day 9 people become ill with the diseases.
But what is meningitis and what are the signs and symptoms?
Meningitis is a bacterial and viral infection of the membranes surrounding the spinal chord and the brain. It can happen to anyone at any age, so it is important to know the symptoms to look out for:
- Fever, cold hands and feet
- Drowsy, difficult to wake
- Confusion and irritability
- Severe muscle pain
- Pale, blotchy skin, spots / rash
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Dislike bright lights
- Convulsions / seizures
Symptoms can appear in any order - some may not appear at all. Someone with meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly. Keep checking on them.
Trust your instincts! If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, get urgent medical help.
For more information, visit the Meningitis Now website or call the Meningitis Helpline, a 24 hour nurse-led helpline:
Meningitis Helpline: 0808 80 10 388