How do you catch meningitis?

It is very rare for someone to ‘catch’ meningitis from someone who is already ill, as most cases occur in isolation

How do you catch meningitis LB

How to catch meningitis

Anyone can be affected by meningitis and septicaemia, but there are certain factors which may put you at greater risk. These include being a certain age (0-5, 15-24 and over 65), living environment, exposure to passive smoking, mass gatherings and immune system problems.

Meningitis symptoms and at-risk groups

Meningitis and septicaemia often happen together. Be aware of all the signs and symptoms.

What is meningitis?

There are many different causes of meningitis, but the two most common organisms are viruses and bacteria.

After meningitis 

Meningitis can strike quickly, but its impact can last a lifetime. We know that meningitis and septicaemia can turn your world upside down, leaving many with after-effects.

  • One in ten of those who contract bacterial meningitis will die
  • We estimate that up to 30-50% of those who survive bacterial meningitis are left with one of more permanent problems and suffer physical, neurological and physiological after-effects
  • Viral meningitis is usually less serious than bacterial meningitis but can still leave people with long-lasting after-effects, such as headaches, fatigue and memory problems

Meningitis facts

  • Bacterial meningitis is life-threatening.
  • Viral meningitis is rarely life-threatening, but can leave you with lifelong after-effects.
  • All causes of meningitis are serious and need medical attention.
  • Meningitis can affect anyone, of any age, at any time, however there are ‘at risk’ groups.
  • Meningitis can strike quickly and kill within hours, so urgent medical attention is essential.
  • Vaccines are the only way to prevent meningitis, and until we have vaccines to prevent all types, you need to know the signs and symptoms to look out for and the action to take.
  • Most people will make a good recovery, but some will suffer life-long after-effects and complications.

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