Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Everything You Need to Know about Meningitis; Research Suggests That One in Five Young People Don't Know the Deadly Consequences of Contracting Meningitis, Says LISA SALMON

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Everything You Need to Know about Meningitis; Research Suggests That One in Five Young People Don't Know the Deadly Consequences of Contracting Meningitis, Says LISA SALMON

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA SALMON

IN A week where we mark World Meningitis Day, there's no better time to equip yourself with knowledge on this deadly disease.

Research shows that one in five 16-25 year olds either don't realise or aren't sure you can die from meningitis, and two in five (41%) don't know you can lose a limb as a result of contracting the disease.

As a result, a new social media campaign called 'PS24youhave thepower' has been launched to make young people more aware of how deadly meningitis can be, and the importance of being vigilant about its symptoms.

The campaign, launched by Pfizer, has enlisted several high-profile influencers, including Al Ferguson of The Dad Network, Mollie Bylett of Where's Mollie? and vlogger and Instagrammer Josh Zerker, to help spread the message to young people, many of whom consume their news through social media.

"Although social media should be taken with a pinch of salt at times, it's also providing an invaluable platform to spread very important messages, with extensive and instant reach," says Mollie.

"As a social media 'influencer', I take my role quite seriously, and this campaign allows me to reach out to people that could well become affected by meningitis, and gives me an opportunity to share knowledge that they may not have otherwise stumbled across."

Even if you aren't following YouTube and Instagram's brightest stars, it's never too early (or late) to brush up on your health knowledge to keep yourself and your family safe.

Here are some key facts that everyone should know about this potentially deadly infection...

So what exactly is meningitis? MENINGITIS is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, and some bacteria that cause the infection can also cause sepsis (blood poisoning). While anyone can get meningitis, certain groups are more at risk, including young children under the age of five, and young adults in the 15-24 age group.

The disease can kill within just 24 hours of the first symptoms appearing, which is why Pfizer's campaign uses the hashtag PS24youhave thepower.

What are the symptoms? MENINGITIS and septicaemia often happen together, and it's vital to be aware of all the symptoms. Early signs are often similar to flu and other viruses, resulting in a fever, headache, vomiting and limb pain.

Common symptoms of meningitis and sepsis can appear in any order, and some may not appear at all.

Symptoms develop suddenly and can include: | Fever, cold hands and feet; | Vomiting; | Drowsiness and difficulty waking; | Confusion and irritability; | Severe muscle pain; | Severe headache; | Stiff neck; | Dislike of bright lights; | Convulsions or seizures, and | Pale, blotchy skin and a rash of tiny pinprick spots which can develop into purple bruising. …

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