What is it?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining that covers the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by bacterial or viral infections. The bacterial form can be fatal and causes serious long term health complications – especially if not treated early.
How do you get it?
Close contact is needed to pass it on to others such as kissing, coughing or sneezing near to others. Living close together in shared accommodation can pose a risk, as does sitting close together in lecture theatres, though less so. Thats why all Freshers should be immunised!
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all;
- Muscle pain
- Fever with cold hands and feet
- Drowsy – difficult to wake
- Confusion and irritability
- Stiff neck
- Dislike of bright lights
- Pale blotchy skin
- Spots/rash (that do not fade under pressure, do the ‘glass test’)
What can I do?
Get vaccinated – MenACWY vaccine directly protects vaccinated people from 4 strains of meningococcal meningitis and stops them from carrying the bacteria.
Familiarise yourself with signs and symptoms and be alert.
Look out for yourself and friends. Share awareness and care for each other – don’t assume an illness is hangover or touch of flu – if you think a friend or housemate is ill trust your instincts and seek medical help. Keep an eye on your friends if they are getting a lot worse quickly seek help.
How do I get help?
Call the GP or NHS 111 if out of GP opening hours
Describe the symptoms and say that you think it could be meningitis.
In an emergency dial 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
Download our ESC Student Health App for more info, on your phone. on the App Store now.
For further information https://www.meningitisnow.org/fight-for-now/