Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Speed is vital on meningitis

I write in response to news from the Health and Safety Executive that patients are waiting longer in AE units.

As meningitis is a disease which can strike within minutes and kill within hours, this news is concerning as every second really does count.

In the absence of vaccines to protect against all strains of the disease, it's extremely important that people are aware of the symptoms.

They can include fever (possibly with cold hands and feet), headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and confusion. In babies, an unusual cry, dislike of being handled and refusing feeds are also signs. The Meningitis Trust has a freephone 24-hour nurse-led helpline providing information and support on 1800 523 196 or visit our website at www.meningitis-trust.ie

Carole Nealon

General Manager,The Meningitis Trust, Bray, Co Wicklow

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