Meningitis can strike in an instant, but its impact can last a lifetime. This week it’s Meningitis Awareness Week and Jane Blewitt, Specialist Resources and Education Manager at the Meningitis Trust/Meningitis UK, is encouraging everyone to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
“Meningitis and septicaemia are very dangerous and can kill in hours. It can affect anyone of any age at any time, however there are at risk groups.
- Babies, toddlers and young children under five are the most at risk group for meningitis, with over 50% of all cases occurring in this age group.
- College students are second most at risk from meningitis. One in four 15 – 19 year olds carry these bacteria in the back of their throats, compared to one in ten of the UK population.
- Adults are also at risk. Meningitis can strike at any time, regardless of health, gender, age, race or class. People over 55 are at risk of meningitis as our immune systems weaken as we get older.
Take a look at our story centre to find out how meningitis and septicaemia have changed people’s lives forever.
What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?
Effective vaccines are available to prevent some, but not all, types of meningitis. It is vital to know all the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia so that you can take action.
Remember that meningitis and septicaemia often happen together, but can occur separately.
Know all the signs and symptoms
“You can also download our free symptoms app for iPhone or Android.
Finally, Jane says if you think someone has meningitis or septicaemia, trust your instincts and get medical help immediately. Don’t wait for a rash – this may appear late or not at all.
Help us help you
Here at the Meningitis Trust/Meningitis UK we are campaigning to introduce a vaccine for Meningitis B –there is a licensed vaccine which means that this is now a preventable disease. Help us beat it now by visiting www.beat-it-now.org to sign our petition, write or email your MP or donate what you can afford today.