Meningitis: everything you need to know

Meningitis takes hold very quickly, but the symptoms can easily be confused with other illnesses. Reading this could help save your child…


As the season of coughs and colds approaches and the new term is well underway, it’s almost inevitable that your little one will pick up one bug or another. With a bit of TLC it’s more than likely that he’ll be right as rain in no time.


However, it’s important to ensure that it is just a common cold you’re child is suffering from. This week marks Meningitis in Babies Awareness Week and Meningitis UK is urging parents to make sure they’re clued up on the full range of meningitis symptoms in the height of the cold and flu season.

The charity is concerned that with the possibility of a swine flu pandemic, as well as seasonal colds and flu, cases of meningitis may be missed, because these illnesses present with similar flu-like symptoms.

“Meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise in the early stages because the initial symptoms are similar to many mild childhood diseases,” says Meningitis UK Chief Executive Steve Dayman.

A recent MORI poll revealed that 70% of parents didn’t realise that there wasn’t a vaccine for Meningitis B, the most common form of meningitis in the UK. “The survey shows that many parents wrongly believe their child is protected from meningitis, which could prove fatal,” says Dayman.

There’s no failsafe way to protect your child from meningitis but knowing the facts will go a long way to saving his life.

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