Meningitis Awareness Week
Flintshire County Council’s Public Protection Service would like to remind
parents and students about the dangers of Meningitis.
The message coincides with Meningitis Awareness Week across the UK (14-20
September) and also an increase in cases of Meningitis as we move into autumn
Meningitis is a relatively rare infection that causes a swelling of the
membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord.
Bacterial Meningitis can be deadly and contagious among people in close
contact. It can kill within 48 hours and early treatment is vital.
Anyone can get meningitis, however teenagers as well as babies and young
children under five years of age are most at risk.
One in four 15 to 19 year olds carry meningococcal bacteria in the back of
their throats, compared to one in 10 of the general population. Most people who
are carriers of the bacteria don’t become ill but can pass it on through
coughing, sneezing and kissing, with increased risk where people are close to
each other such as in class rooms or halls of residence.
The symptoms of meningitis can include fever, cold hands and feet, vomiting,
muscle pain, drowsiness, confusion, stiff neck, headache, difficulty with
bright lights, stomach pain, diarrhoea and a rash that does not fade under
pressure. All or just some of these symptoms may be present. The rash can
appear late or not at all. The rash is more difficult to see on darker skin;
look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids.
Flintshire Council is working in collaboration with the NHS to raise awareness
of a new free vaccine available to all 17 and 18 year olds and college and
university students up to the age of 25. GPs are contacting 17-18 year olds to
attend the surgery for the vaccine however students aged 19-25 will need to
contact their surgery to request the vaccine.
Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Waste and
Recycling said: “It is important that we all know the symptoms of
Meningitis. This dreadful disease causes around 300 deaths a year. Vaccines
are available against certain types of bacterial Meningitis for young children
and young adults and it’s important that these vaccinations are up to date.
Furthermore, if you have youngsters that are leaving home for college or
university this September, please make sure that they know the symptoms and to
seek medical help if they feel unwell or have any concerns regarding this
For more information go to: