Vigilance urged over meningitis signs

IN response to your article ( Tributes to full of smiles Claire, April 23) about teenager Claire Kennedy who died, aged 19, from meningitis, our thoughts are with Claire s family and friends at this very sad time. The Meningitis Trust is urging people

IN response to your article ("Tributes to 'full of smiles' Claire," April 23) about teenager Claire Kennedy who died, aged 19, from meningitis, our thoughts are with Claire's family and friends at this very sad time.

The Meningitis Trust is urging people to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms at all times and, if they are concerned, to seek medical attention immediately. Unfortunately with meningitis, many of its symptoms are similar to those associated with less serious illnesses such as flu.

The rash that is commonly associated with meningitis doesn't appear in all cases, so it is vital that people are aware of the other symptoms. Symptoms can include fever (possibly with cold hands and feet), headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and confusion.

In babies, an unusual cry, dislike of being handled and refusing feeds are also signs that can point to meningitis. If in doubt, always seek urgent medical advice.

The Meningitis Trust has a free 24-hour helpline, which is led by nurses specially trained in meningitis, providing information and support. Anyone concerned area should call 0800 028 18 28 or visit our website at www.meningitis-trust.org. Free signs and symptoms cards are also available from us for people to keep in their wallets.

AMY GREENGRASS

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Community Development Officer - South East

Meningitis Trust