Belfast Telegraph

Meningitis group launches new app

Lives could be saved by a new iPhone app that displays the vital signs of a disease which can kill within hours, it has been claimed.

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) launched a free application that lists the symptoms of the infection, which are similar to flu or a hangover.

Diane McConnell, MRF Ireland manager, said knowing the signs of meningitis is crucial to save lives.

"This app ensures people have vital life-saving information directly at their fingertips," said Ms McConnell.

"We are encouraging every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch user to download it."

Young adults are twice as likely to carry the bacteria that cause meningitis - which is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord - and septicaemia, the blood poisoning form of the disease.

Symptoms, which can appear in any order, include fever, vomiting, headache, feeling unwell, cold hands and feet, a rash and pale or mottled skin.

Up to 300 cases of the conditions are recorded each year, with up 30 people dying. A further 20% of survivors are left with after-effects including brain damage, deafness, blindness and multiple amputations.

The new app also includes details of emergency departments, latest news and a game called Bug Blaster, a virtual battle against bacteria to eliminate the meningitis bug.

It follows the success of a similar free video message for mobile phones launched in September. Users can text TIME to 50308 for details.

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