This is a condition where the linings around your brain and spinal cord become infected and inflamed. Onset can be rapid and the condition can progress to septic shock, where the infection becomes overwhelming and fatal if untreated.
Symptoms of meningitis include;
Symptoms of raised pressure around the brain include;
Symptoms and signs of septic shock include;
In the early stages the symptoms may resemble a flu-like viral illness.
Bacterial or viral infection
Meningococcal septicaemia (causing septic shock)
Treatment of suspected bacterial meningitis is with an injected antibiotic - benzylpenicillin and urgent transfer to hospital
Prevention of Meningitis B and C is by vaccination. Vaccinations against both these strains is now included in the children's national vaccine schedule in the UK
High risk groups such as people travelling to Africa or the Middle East or students living in halls of residence should get vaccinated against Meningitis C. This is often included in a combined vaccine protecting against strains ACW and Y.