Meningitis and Septicaemia are very dangerous and can kill in hours. Recognising the symptoms in its early stages can literally save lives.
It is a rare disease but students are one of the highest risk groups. Early detection and treatment is the key in helping to achieve a successful outcome.
Meningitis means swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by the same germs.
Both meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise in the early stages because the symptoms are like many mild diseases.
Some of the symptoms of Meningitis are similar to Swine Flu so be extra vigilant.


  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Fever
  • Throwing up repeatedly
  • Severe sleepiness or confusion
  • Rash

Remember: Not everyone gets all these symptoms. They can occur in any order.


  • Rash - starts as tiny red pin prick marks and develops into purple bruises or blood blisters
  • Fever
  • Throwing up repeatedly
  • Very cold hands and feet
  • Rapid breathing
  • Pains in limbs, joints, muscles
  • Stomach pain - sometimes diarrhoea
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Losing consciousness

Be aware that confusion is one of the symptoms of this disease. This symptom can be masked and the person may appear drunk or aggressive.
Early treatment is essential as the disease can progress rapidly and is sometimes fatal.

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