Meningitis

In the last few years, over 500 young adults in Britain have contracted meningitis or septicaemia, including a student in Durham. Although rare, these diseases can strike at anytime, anywhere, and can kill within hours if not treated properly. Acquaint yourself with the following symptoms; some are similar to a bad dose of the flu or a nasty hangover, but the dangers can be very real.
o Check out the symptoms.
o If you feel ill, tell someone.
o If a friend looks very ill, stick around.
o If it worsens quickly, get a doctor's help immediately.

Symptoms

Meningitis

• Severe headache
• Stiff neck
• Dislike of bright lights
• Fever
• Throwing up repeatedly
• Severe sleepiness or confusion
• Rash
Remember: Not everyone gets all these symptoms. They can occur in any order.


Septicaemia

• Rash - starts as tiny red pin prick marks and develops into purple bruises or blood blisters
• Fever
• Throwing up repeatedly
• Very cold hands and feet
• Rapid breathing
• Pains in limbs, joints, muscles
• Stomach pain - sometimes diarrhoea
• Difficulty walking or standing
• Losing consciousness

For more information or advice about meningitis contact the Meningitis Research Foundation's 24 hour helpline on: 0808 800 3344 (or visit their website at www.meningitis.org). The DSU Advice Centre also keeps leaflets and information on meningitis which you can pick up in Dunelm House. If you have the smallest suspicion of meningitis, contact your GP immediately, or ring the University Health Centre on Internal 46086, or from an external line 386 5081.