Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).
It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults.
Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
A number of vaccinations are available that offer some protection against meningitis.
More information can be found with here: Leaflet: Meningitis can affect anyone
Know the signs
Meningitis can have a number of symptoms make sure you are aware of these. You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned about yourself or your child. Trust your instincts and don’t wait until a rash develops
You can download a copy of the symptoms here Men B_know the symptoms_poster
Find out more
More information can be found by viewing the websites of NHS Choices or Meningitis Now
In an emergency
- Go to A&E – search for your nearest A&E department
- Call emergency services – dial 999 in the UK
What to do
- Describe the symptoms carefully and say that you think it could be meningitis or septicaemia.
- If you have had medical advice and are still worried, get medical help again as early diagnosis can be difficult