Student Health Service



To all Students, 

Please take a few minutes to read this information leaflet on Meningitis. It is vital if you have any concerns or worries please contact your GP or Student Health Centre.

Meningitis: Spot the signs

What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by several different organisms. Some are bacteria and some are viruses.

Viral Meningitis is less serious and the more common . Anyone can get viral meningitis, but it occurs most often in children. It is more common in the summer.

Bacterial Meningitis is uncommon. but it can be very serious and requires urgent medical attention and treatemt with antibiotics. Around one in ten cases of meningitis caused by bacteria end up in death and further one in seven patients are left with long-term problems such as brain damage or deafness. . Meningococcal meningitis is the most common form of bacterial Meningitis . There are three main strains â€" A, B, and C. C-strain Meningococcal infection is the most common form in Ireland . There is a vaccination now available from your GP known as the Men C vaccine.

Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease . In septicaemia, the bacteria release toxins into the blood which break down the walls of the blood vessels allowing blood to leak out under the skin. This leaking causes a characteristic rash of purple bruises, blood blisters or blood spots and redueces the amount of blood reaching vital organs such as the liver and kidneys.

Spot the signs

The symptoms of meningitis

Reproduced with kind permission of Meningitis Research. Copyright. Meningitis Research Foundation

Not all the symptoms are present in each type of meningitis or in all the cases. Remember, vaccines can't prevent all forms of meningitis and septicaemia. These diseases can kill in hours if not treated. If you think it's a bad dose of flu, a heavy hangover or drugs, don't just leave it:

•  Check out the symptoms

•  If you're feeling really bad, tell someone

•  If a mate's looking rough, stick around

•  If it gets worse fast, get medical help immediately.

For more information see:

Caroline Temple
University Nurse