IT can be mistaken as the flu or even a hangover – but knowing the symptoms of potentially deadly meningitis could save your life. Meningitis can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. We reveal all about the disease. What is meningitis? It is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord and can be caused by meningococcal bacteria and viral meningitis. If it is not treated quickly, meningitis can cause life-threatening septicaemia (blood poisoning) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves. The two forms of the disease have different symptoms. Around 3,200 people a year get bacterial meningitis. One in 10 die and many more are left with life-changing disabilities. Viral forms of meningitis are less common and rarely life-threatening, but can have lifelong effects. Infections peak during winter when bugs spread more easily in confined spaces. How do you get meningitis? Meningitis is usually passed on from people who carry the virus or bacterial form in their throat or nose, but aren’t ill themselves. It can be spread through kissing, sneezing, coughing and sharing household items such as toothbrushes or cutlery. It is thought that… Read full this story
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