World Meningitis Day

Today is the 24th April.  It is also World Meningitis Day. To mark the day I’m sharing some key information about what can be a serious and indeed fatal infection.

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an infection of the meninges which are the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Any infection of the meninges is most likely caused by a bacterial or viral infection although parasitic or fungal infection are known.

The bacterial form of the disease is most serious and more commonly affects children under 5.  According to research carried out by ACT for Meningitis as a result of this many believe that the disease only affects children however this is most definitely not the case and all should be aware of what to look out for.

What are the symptoms of meningitis?

The key things to look out for are:

  • severe headache
  • vomiting
  • high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or over
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • a skin rash

For babies there are additional things to look out for such as :

  • Being unusually sleepy
  • Very irritable or not wanting to be picked up
  • Limp and floppy or stiff and jerky movements
  • Pale in colour or turning blue
  • Breathing unusually fast
  • Cold hands and feet
Image: commons.wikimedia.org
Image: commons.wikimedia.org

What is the prognosis?

Viral meningitis is the less serious form of the disease.  Many contract it and many never know as it can be similar to any flu-like illness and so recovery will occur after a week or two and with use of pain relief.

For those who contract the bacterial form of the disease it is much more serious.  It should be treated as a medical emergency.  Treatment is by antibiotics and if caught quickly many will recover fully after a hospital stay.

There are, unfortunately, many cases that result in complications.  Issues such as loss of limbs or hearing loss can be permanent reminders of infection with the disease.

To coincide with World Meningitis Day, Meningitis charities have launched a free e-book Protecting our tomorrows: A portrait of Meningococcal Disease.  The book is available to download for free at:

Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease – See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf
Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease – See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf
Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease – See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/protecting-our-tomorrows/id843351185?ls=1&mt=11

Today sees the launch of a brand new eBook, Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease, which is being released to coincide with World Meningitis Day (24th April). The eBook features images of 15 meningitis survivors from around the world and is available free oniBooks thanks to support from Apple. You can download the eBook now via the following link:

– See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf

Today sees the launch of a brand new eBook, Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease, which is being released to coincide with World Meningitis Day (24th April). The eBook features images of 15 meningitis survivors from around the world and is available free oniBooks thanks to support from Apple. You can download the eBook now via the following link:

– See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf

Today sees the launch of a brand new eBook, Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease, which is being released to coincide with World Meningitis Day (24th April). The eBook features images of 15 meningitis survivors from around the world and is available free oniBooks thanks to support from Apple. You can download the eBook now via the following link:

– See more at: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/wmd#sthash.lN0knHlG.dpuf

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great post. I have nursed children who survived because of early intervention.
    Sadly a friend of mine in his thirties became ill. He thought he had flu. The following day he was worse and after his wife dropped their older kids to school she came home to a v ill man. He was admitted but died hours later.
    Maybe if he’d gone in the night before he would still be here. Information is key as well as immunisation.
    tric recently posted…Anyone can learn to drive?My Profile

    • Thanks Tric. What a sad story of your friend. It can certainly be a brutal disease. Immunisation is absolutely key and important to ensure. Thanks for mentioning that! Although sadly it doesn’t cover all strains at least it offers some great protection. Hopefully many a life has been saved by it.

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