Tumbler test for meningitis rash - the red spots do
not disappear when a glass is pressed on them
ARE YOU AWARE OF ITS DANGER?
What are Meningitis & Meningococcal
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the linings surrounding
the brain. It can be caused by bacteria and viruses. Septicaemia
is blood poisoning caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream
Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis. It
is rarely life-threatening, but it can make people very weak.
can be caused by many different viruses. Some are spread by people
coughing and sneezing, or through poor hygiene or sewage-polluted
Bacterial meningitis/meningococcal septicaemia is less common,
but it is very serious and needs urgent treatment with antibiotics.
It is mainly
caused by the meningococcal bacteria, but can also be caused by
the pneumococcal, Hib and TB bacteria amongst others. E.coli and
B streptococcal bacteria can also causemeningitis in new born
The meningococcus has three main groups, A, B and C. Group A rarely
causes disease in the UK. Of all the cases in the UK, Group B
accounts for 60-70%, Group C accounts for 30-40% and is the main
clusters or outbreaks of the disease. The introduction of the
new C vaccine
will significantly reduce its incidence in the UK
How do you get Bacterial Meningitis/Meningococcal Septicaemia?
The bacteria are very common and live naturally in the back of
the nose and throat. They normally spread between people in close
contact by coughing, sneezing and intimate kissing. They do not
live for very long outside the body, so can’t be picked
up from water supplies,
swimming pools or buildings.
A new vaccine for Group C meningococcal disease became available last
year. It will give long-term protection against this strain. There
is also a vaccine against meningococcal groups A and C, which can
be given to people travelling to areas of the world where this strain
occurs. There is no vaccine against meningococcal group B, which
is still the most common group causing meningitis and meningococcal