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Experts warn of rise in meningitis during Christmas season

Experts warn of rise in meningitis during Christmas season

sick child
Your kids are more at risk of meningitis or septicaemia at Christmas than at any other time of year a leading charity has warned.
 
Parents have been warned by Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) that children have more of a risk of developing meningitis at Christmas time than any other time of the year. 

Children’s immune systems are lower during the Winter season and they are usually visiting and in close contact with different people at get togethers. This increases the risk of developing meningitis with children under the age of 5 being far more susceptible. 

Parents are being warned to be aware of and look out for signs which include a high temperature  but cold hands, Fever and/or vomiting,  Rash (anywhere on the body but this may not be present), Stiff neck (less common in young children), Dislike of bright lights (less common in young children). It can often start with similar symptoms to a cold and flu but will develop rapidly.
 
Rob Dawson, Head of Support at MRF says, 'During the winter months, parents need to be extra alert. Cases of meningitis rise as our immune systems are low. If flu-like symptoms or a hangover progress quickly, act fast and get medical help.'
 
'We encourage all parents to know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and to trust their instincts if they are worried about their sick child. If a child is sent home but their symptoms progress, it’s important to act quickly and return to a health professional.'
 
While viral meningitis isn't life threatening, tragically one in 10 people affected by bacterial meningitis will die.
 
Watch out for the 'Red Flag' symptoms - the three 'P's: 
  • Pain in limbs
  • Perishing cold hands and feet
  • Pallor/abnormal colour
Visit www.meningitis.org for more information.
 
If you have any concerns contact your doctor or hospital without delay.