Responding to the comments made by Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Sue Davie, CEO of Meningitis Now, said:
“We are deeply concerned about the advice given by Mr Hunt."
“To suggest that people look for an online diagnosis for a rash, rather than seek medical help, could have serious consequences for anyone who has contracted meningitis. We know that swift action saves lives and significantly improves the outcome for people who have the disease. To advise people to delay seeking medical advice when they see a rash in favour of comparing their rash with online images is a serious error of judgement by the Health Secretary and advice that should simply be ignored."
“We know that a meningitis rash could appear at any time and importantly that it can be one of the last signs and symptoms to appear. It is therefore absolutely critical that medical help is sought as a matter of urgency when people suspect meningitis. "
“The timing of Mr Hunt’s advice is a further cause for concern as we are in the peak season for meningitis in the UK.”
A rash that does not fade under pressure
People with septicaemia may develop a rash of tiny 'pin pricks' which can develop into purple bruising. A rash that does not fade under pressure is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia and is a medical emergency.
On dark skin, the spots/rash can be more difficult to see. Be aware of all meningitis signs and symptoms.
Do not wait for a rash. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.