World Meningitis Day 2016
To mark upcoming World Meningitis Day (24 April), Irish National meningitis awareness and support charity ACT for Meningitis urges people to recognise that meningitis can kill within 24 hrs and it is therefore vital to know the signs and symptoms of this devastating disease .
Meningitis is inflammation of the lining around the spinal cord and the brain, caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It is easily misdiagnosed as the symptoms can be flu-like, appear in any order and some may not appear at all, therefore they urge people to trust their instincts. Meningitis does not always produce a rash, if it does appear it will not fade under pressure.
Siobhan Carroll, CEO of the charity explains “While children aged under five are most at-risk, and 16-24 year olds the second highest at risk age group, it is vitally important to know that anyone of any age can get Meningitis. We are asking people to ACT now as knowing the signs and symptoms of meningitis is your best form of defence against this disease”.
ACT for Meningitis was set up in 2011 by Siobhan and Noel Carroll, following the loss of their precious daughter Aoibhe (aged 4) to Meningitis. In just 4 years, ACT have become the only organisation in Ireland to provide a wide range of free support services to anyone affected by Meningitis either through bereavement or living with the severe after affects of this life changing disease across the country. In addition we run various annual national awareness campaigns, from creche campaigns to student roadshows and through print, radio and social media in our continuous efforts to save lives through greater awareness of the signs and symptoms of this disease.
The signs of Meningitis can include vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, dislike to bright lights, severe muscle pain, confusion. In babies being irritable, refusing to feed, high pitched crying , rapid breathing and cold hands and feet, bulging soft spot on head.
For more information on Meningitis or if you have been affected by this disease please visit www.actformeningitis.ie or call 091 380058.