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Spotting the signs of meningitis

The symptoms to look out for - at every age


Posted: 19 April 2012
by Fiona McKim

Although meningitis is a rare disease, it can be life-threatening and is sometimes very difficult to diagnose.  Doctors recommend that parents trust their gut instincts if they suspect meningitis, and familiarise themselves with the symptoms to watch out for at different ages. 

Newborns and older babies
High temperature or shivering
Over tiredness and vacant expression
Diarrhoea
Blotchy, pale or blueish tinge to skin
Pin prick rash or purple bruising
Breathing difficulties 
Tense or bulging soft spot
Restlessness or irritability that could be caused by joint pain
Stiff, jerky movements or floppy limbs when picked up 

Toddlers and pre-schoolers
Feverishness
Vomiting
Severe Headache
Confusion/deliriousness
Rash anywhere on the body
Stiff neck
Aversion to bright lights
Seizures

For more information visit the Meningitis Research Foundation

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