Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. 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 and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves. A number of vaccinations are available that offer some protection against meningitis.
Symptoms Of Meningitis
When to get medical help
You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned that you or your child could have meningitis. Trust your instincts and do not wait until a rash develops.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.
Call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for advice if you’re not sure if it’s anything serious or you think you may have been exposed to someone with meningitis.
How Meningitis Is Spread
Vaccinations Against Meningitis
Treatments for Meningitis
People with suspected meningitis will usually have tests in hospital to confirm the diagnosis and check whether the condition is the result of a viral or bacterial infection.
Bacterial meningitis usually needs to be treated in hospital for at least a week. Treatments include:
Outlook For Meningitis
Viral meningitis will usually get better on its own and rarely causes any long-term problems.
Most people with bacterial meningitis who are treated quickly will also make a full recovery, although some are left with serious long-term problems. These can include:
Overall, it’s estimated up to 1 in every 10 cases of bacterial meningitis is fatal.
Information provided from the NHS website.