Meningitis Awareness


What are meningitis and septicaemia?

  • Meningitis means swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by the same infection.
  • There are many different forms of meningitis and septicaemia e.g. viral, bacterial. All forms of bacterial meningitis are life-threatening.
  • Whilst early symptoms can be very similar to those of flu or even a hangover, bacterial meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours.


Am I at risk?

  • Anyone of any age can be affected and after children under five, students and young people aged 15 to 24 years are the second most ‘at-risk’ group.


How common are bacterial meningitis & septicaemia?

  • On average, every day at least nine people in the UK and Ireland become ill with bacterial meningitis and septicaemia.

Sadly one in ten who contract the disease die.

  • Many of those who recover are left with serious after effects, such as hearing loss, amputations and cerebral palsy.


What precautions can I take?

Know the symptoms – it could save a life.

Get medical help immediately if you are worried about someone who is ill.

Vaccines are available to protect against some forms of bacterial meningitis & septicaemia. Check your vaccinations are up to date e.g. MenC vaccine.


For more information contact Student Health, visit or call Meningitis Research Foundation’s Freefone 24 hour helpline 080 8800 3344

For information in different languages visit  

or (for Russian and Polish)

Health and Social CareThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website