Knowing the signs of meningitis can save lives

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From: Kate Rowland, chief executive, Meningitis UK.

I READ your article “students urged to keep up with jabs” (Yorkshire Post, September 14), with great interest.

It is important that students ensure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations. Failing this, it is vital they know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, the blood poisoning form of the disease, as the knowledge can save lives.

The symptoms of meningitis include a stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, seizure or jerky movements, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea.

The signs of septicaemia include cold hands and feet, leg pain, abnormal skin colouring and the pin-prick rash.

People should not wait for the rash as this is often a late sign and it can often be too late to save the person.

Meningitis can strike with incredible speed and the symptoms are notoriously difficult to detect.

For these reasons, we believe prevention is the only way to truly eradicate the disease and developing a preventative vaccine to protect against all forms of meningitis and its associated diseases is our sole focus at Meningitis UK.

Our Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign aims to raise £7m to fund life-saving research into eradicating all forms of meningitis. In the absence of a vaccine, we also distribute a wide range of material to raise awareness of the common symptoms and the need to 
act quickly, which can mean 
the difference between life 
and death.

If any of your readers would like a symptoms information pack, including wallet-sized symptoms cards, or to find out more about supporting our Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign, they can call Meningitis UK on 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisUK.org.