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15 May 2010, 06:00
A Gloucestershire charity is warning parents that cases of Meningitis are not as rare as they may think.
Stroud's Meningitis Trust is using 'International Day for Families' to remind us of the symptoms.
Harriet Penning from the Trust has been speaking to Heart:
Harriet Penning interview
The warning comes as figures show 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:
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 (septicaemia) that doesn’t fade under pressure.
Symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all. Rapid deterioration will take hold if left untreated.
For advice and details of the range of free professional support services available from the Meningitis Trust, which include counselling, at therapy, one-to-one contact, home and hospital visits and a 24-hour nurse-staffed helpline, call the helpline 0800 028 18 28 or visit www.meningitis-trust.org.