The HSE is warning people to be aware of the symptoms of bacterial meningitis following the diagnosis of two young children in a creche in Cavan.
They were both diagnosed with meningococcal infection, or meningitis, after symptoms of the infection were noticed.
The HSE has visited the creche and antibiotics were administered to both children and staff who had close contact with the two youngsters. Information and advice on the condition were also provided to parents of children who attend the same creche.
The two children diagnosed with meningitis have responded well to treatment, the HSE has confirmed to independent.ie.
Meningococcal infection has a sudden onset, the HSE is now advising parents.
While most people recover from the infection, it can also be fatal.
The disease occurs most commonly in winter and spring and young children and adolescents are most at risks, although it can occur in any age group.
Symptoms include high temperature, headache and pain in the stomach, joints or muscles. Symptoms can also include nausea, vomiting, irritability, drowsiness or impaired consciousness.
Parents are also being advised to look out for a pinpoint or blotchy purple rash which does not fade when pressed, a stiff neck or a dislike of bright light.
In babies, symptoms can include a tense or bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on top of their head), blotching or pale skin, refusal to feed, fretfulness, stiffness and jerkiness or a floppy body.
Parents or guardians are advised to contact their doctor immediately if any of the above symptoms are noticed.
The HSE is also informing people that the bacterial infection does not spread easily, and close and prolonged contact is usually required for the infection to spread from one person to the next.
If any parents have concerns or questions about their children and meningitis, they can ring the Meningitis Research Foundation helpline on FREEFONE 1800 41 33 44.