Health chiefs in meningitis warning

PARENTS in Suffolk were today warned to be vigilant and look out for signs of meningitis.

PARENTS in Suffolk were today warned to be vigilant and look out for signs of meningitis.

In 2008 there were 22 people in the county who contracted the potentially deadly disease, most of whom were under four.

Today the Health Protection Agency (HPA) urged mums and dads to check for the illness' symptoms during the winter months.

Doctor Joe Kearney, regional director for the HPA East of England, said: “We tend to see an increase in meningitis infections at this time of year.


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“People everywhere, especially parents of young children, should be aware of the signs and symptoms.

“The reports we have received in the past two or three months have been isolated cases. Meningitis in not very infectious and secondary cases occurring among close household contacts is unusual.

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“However, because of the seriousness of the illness, it's important that people can recognise the symptoms.”

The HPA's advice to parents is to look out for the following symptoms:

raised temperature

poor feeding

drowsiness

a red or brown rash that doesn't fade under pressure.

Additional symptoms which may be experienced by children and adults include severe headache, difficulty or pain when looking into the light, neck stiffness, vomiting, confusion and back or joint pains.

If infection is diagnosed early and treated promptly, most people make a full recovery.

The Meningitis Trust has a 24-hour nurse-led helpline which can be contacted on 0800 028 1828.

Have you been affected by meningitis? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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