WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
"The team has so many contacts with foreign insurers and so many people with foreign languages that it is miles ahead of others."
Chambers and Partners (2014)
Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which can cause serious disability or even death.
Meningitis can be caused by a number of organisms, viruses, bacteria, fungi and even amoeba.
Viral meningitis is the most common form of meningitis and it's usually not as severe as bacterial meningitis.
In the UK the most common cause of bacterial meningitis is infection with the meningococcal or pneumococcal bacteria, but Hib, TB, E.Coli, and Group B streptococcal bacteria can also cause meningitis.
- Skin very pale
- Cold hands or feet with high temperature
- Blue or dusky around lips
- Severe leg pain
- Severe headache
- Drowsy and less responsive
- Stomach/joint/muscle pain
- Dislike of bright lights
- Stiff neck
- Rapid breathing
- Rash - at later stages of disease caused by septicaemia. It is non-blanching and does not disappear when pressed with a glass
Viral meningitis cannot be treated with antibiotics although anti-viral treatment can be used in some cases depending on the type of virus. Patients how are suffering with viral meningitis need good nursing care and rest.
Bacterial meningitis requires urgent treatment with antibiotics and appropriate hospital management is essential for someone with bacterial meningitis. The sooner they are diagnosed and treated, the greater chance there is they will make a full recovery. Anyone who has been in direct, close, prolonged contact with the infected person (normally family members and those deemed to be at an increased risk) should be given appropriate protective antibiotics if necessary.
Public awareness of the risks of contracting the illness, the early detection of symptoms and thus early treatment and vaccination programmes.
It is estimated that at least 4 in 100,000 British children will become ill with meningococcal disease. Most of those who get meningitis and septicaemia will make a full recovery. However, experts estimate that 15% of sufferers are left with serious disabilities and many more will suffer a range of short-term or less serious problems. Around 10% of those infected will die.
In many cases, children are only admitted to hospital after their condition is initially misdiagnosed.
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