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Meningitis information & symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia are shown below. Early symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet.

Trust your instincts, if you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.



 Symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all. Meningitis and septicaemia often happen together. Be aware of all the signs and symptoms.

What about the rash?

  • A rash that does not fade under pressure (see ‘The Glass Test’) is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. This rash may begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.
  • The spots or rash are caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin.
  • The spots or rash are more difficult to see on darker skin. Look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids.
The Glass Test
Spots or a rash that do not fade under pressure will still be seen when the side of a clear drinking glass is pressed firmly against the skin.

A fever with spots or a rash that do not fade
under pressure is a medical emergency.

If someone is ill or is obviously getting worse, do not wait for spots or a rash to appear. They may appear late or may not appear at all.

Iphone App

You can now download an app with all the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and lots of information on, from itunes, HERE

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