Meningitis means inflammation of the lining of the brain. It can be caused by several different germs, mainly bacteria and viruses. Bacterial meningitis is quite rare but it can be very serious and needs urgent treatment with antibiotics.
The bacteria live naturally in the back of the nose and throat. People can carry these germs without becoming ill but they can be spread between people by coughing, sneezing, and kissing. They cannot be picked up from water supplies, swimming pools or buildings.
It is important to be aware of symptoms of meningitis and how to seek medical attention should you suffer from:
- severe headache, light sensitivity
- neck stiffness
- fever, aching
- a rash (though not always present)
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms do go to your GP or medical centre, or attend an NHS Walk-in centre or the hospital Accident and Emergency Department.
- don’t suffer in silence – let someone know if you are feeling unwell
- look out for your mates – check they’re ok if you haven’t seen them
Further information is available from:
The Meningitis Trust| on 0800 028 18 28
Meningitis Research Foundation| on 080 8800 3344