Health Service - Nurses Clinic (Semester Time)

Meningitis and Septicaemia

There are many different causes of meningitis and septicemia. Different germs such as bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause meningitis and septicemia if they invade the body. 

What are the Symptoms

  • High temperature, fever, possibly with cold hands and feetVoHeadache
  • Neck stiffness (unable to touch the chin to the chest)
  • Joint or muscle pains, sometimes stomach cramps with septicaemia
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Drowsiness /Fitting
  • The person may become confused or disorientated
  • Vomiting, sometimes diarrhoea
meningitis symptoms card

The patient may or may not have a rash. The "glass test" can be used to see if the rash might be septicemia. If the side of a clear drinking glass is pressed firmly onto the rash it will not fade if it is septicemia. In a small number of cases the rash may fade at first, but may later change into one that does not.

How can I protect myself?           Get Vaccinated

There are vaccines available that protect against some of the most common causes of meningitis and septicaemia.  These vaccines have successfully reduced the number of cases throughout the world. 

Meningitis C Vaccine

The MenC (meningitis) booster vaccine protects you against meningococcal C disease until early adulthood. We encourage all students to ensure they are up to date with their meningitis C vaccination. All students should have received their Meningitis C booster vaccine in secondary school. Please check with your Gp if you are unsure.

Meningitis B  Vaccine

The MenB vaccine only became available in 2013.  It has recently been included in the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule for all new babies. For Students to avail of the new Men B vaccine you need to contact your family GP as it is currently only available on the private market.

MenB vaccine has been shown to very effective and safe, providing 88% protection against MenB bacteria types.

There are still some causes of meningitis and septicaemia which are not vaccine preventable.

Being able to recognise the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia is vital because early recognition and treatment provide the best chance to a good recovery.


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. 

Remember if you get meningitis you will be relying on someone else to look after you, as you will be too sick to look after yourself. 

For more information see:


Tel: 1800 41 33 44