Name Meningitis
Related to/Also known as Meningococcal disease


Symptoms of Meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining (meninges) which covers the spinal cord and the brain.

Common symptoms are usually high fever, headache, stiff neck and a red/purple rash which remains when pressed and looked at through a glass tumbler.


Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or is occasionally due to a fungal infection.

Viral meningitis can be very unpleasant, but is generally less severe and is usually without long-term effects.

Bacterial meningitis is more serious and, although some do make a full recovery, others may be left with problems such as long-term brain damage, hearing loss and epilepsy.

The meningococcal bacterium that causes meningitis can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning). If a patient has some symptoms of both meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia, then together these two forms of the disease are known as meningococcal disease.

Useful national contacts Meningitis Trust and Meningitis Research Foundation have merged to form
Meningitis Now
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Link opens in new window www.meningitisnow.org
Nurse-staffed Freefone Helpline 0808 80 10 388
Children & young people

Meningitis in children and young people (Meningitis Now)
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/jd6ubqz

Symptoms Checker for Young Adults (Meningitis Research Foundation)
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/y3mspxhq

Michael Rosen's Sad Book (Michael Rosen)
Chronicles Michael’s grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19
Link opens in new window www.michaelrosen.co.uk/portfolio/michael-rosens-sad-book

Online resources Meningitis Now free mobile app
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/yaw5ku6k
Meningitis (NHS Choices)
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/y77fpty7
Glass test for meningitis (Meningitis Now)
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/zdt2ymo
News and events

Teenagers urged to take part in meningitis B vaccine trial (BBC, March 2018)
Link opens in new window www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43554595

Men ACWY vaccine (NHS Choices)
Young teenagers and 'fresher' students going to university for the first time are advised to have a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease.
Link opens in new window https://tinyurl.com/qh2b5me

"New meningitis vaccine for students and children" (BBC Wales, August 2015)
Link opens in new window www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33734323

Our resources

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of resources on Meningitis and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

This includes a copy of the Brain & Spine Foundation's booklet "Meningitis: A fact sheet for patients and carers".