In stark contrast to my usually posts today I am opening up the floor to a twitter friend of mine that would very much like to educate us all so before we get caught up in the holiday season let’s take a moment to learn something important.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by many different organisms including bacteria and viruses. It can strike anyone, at any time although the most at risk age group is the 0-5, followed by the student population (15-19).
Viral meningitis is usually a mild disease, but it can make people very unwell. Many thousands of cases occur each year, mostly affecting babies and children. Although most people will make a full recovery, some are left with serious and debilitating after-effects.
Bacterial meningitis can be life-threatening and needs urgent medical attention. Most people who suffer from bacterial meningitis recover, but many can be left with a variety of after-effects and one in 10 will die.
Facts you need to know
- Meningitis can strike quickly and without warning, so urgent medical attention is essential.
- Meningitis vaccines are the only way to prevent meningitis and, until we have vaccines to prevent all types, you need to know the signs and symptoms to look out for and the action to take.
- Most people will make a good recovery, but some will suffer lifelong after-effects and complications.
- As babies and toddlers are not able to tell you how they are feeling, it is important to look out for some specific tell-talesigns and symptoms of meningitis.
- The Meningitis Trust produces free credit-card sized signs and symptoms cardsto keep in your purse or wallet. To order yours, you can call our freephone helpline now on 0808 80 10 388. These cards have saved lives. You can also download our free app for iphone and android.
- If you think someone has meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately. Trust your instincts. You know your child best. Describe the symptoms and say you think it could be meningitis or septicaemia.
Early diagnosis can be difficult. If you have had advice and are still worried, get medical help again.
Many people will have heard about the glass test, thinking that this is a good way to test if a rash that SOMETIMES appears on the body is meningitis.
A rash that does not fade under pressure is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. It is normally referred to as the meningitis rash.
If someone is ill and getting worse do not wait for a rash, it can appear late or not at all. A fever with spots or a rash that does not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.
if you know someone that has had meningitis, please pass on the contact details of the meningitis. 15% of survivors of bacterial meningitis will be left with long term, disabling affects (such as loss of limbs, brain damage, loss of sight and/or hearing) but many more will be left with less serious, but life changing after effects (stress/depression, pain, learning/behavioural difficulties). Many go unnoticed. Do not let these people suffer in silence.
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Meningitistrust
Helpline: 0808 80 10 388