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Families given meningitis warning

PUBLISHED: 11:16 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 30 June 2010

FAMILIES throughout the country are being encouraged to be aware of the threat of meningitis in time for International Day for Families on Saturday.

The Meningitis Trust, which is the leading voice on the impact of meningitis in the UK, is asking everybody to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of the disease in a bid to save lives.

FAMILIES throughout the country are being encouraged to be aware of the threat of meningitis in time for International Day for Families on Saturday.

The Meningitis Trust, which is the leading voice on the impact of meningitis in the UK, is asking everybody to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of the disease in a bid to save lives.

The call was issued after it found that as many as 500,000 people living in the UK have had either viral or bacterial meningitis, and up to one adult in every four knows of someone who has had the disease.

Common signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever (possibly with cold hands and feet), vomiting, headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, joint or muscle pain, drowsiness, confusion and, in babies, dislike of being handled, pale blotchy skin, unusual cry, and a blank staring expression.

Both adults and children may have a rash that doesn't fade under pressure, while symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all.

The Meningitis Trust produces free life-saving cards designed to fit inside a wallet or purse which display the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

To mark International Day for Families, the charity is urging everyone to get their own card now and to carry it at all times.

It is available free from the Meningitis Trust's helpline on 0800 028 18 28 or to download at www.meningitis-trust.org.


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