Charity issues warning as UCC student dies from meningitis

A charity has urged the public to be familiar with the symptoms of meningitis following the death of a student in Cork.

A female student from UCC passed away after contracting meningitis.

"We would like to offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends; our thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult time," said a spokesperson for the Meningitis Research Foundation

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It shares many of the symptoms of other, more common, everyday illnesses such as the flu or even a hangover.

    Meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise at first. Symptoms include:

  • Fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell.
  • Red ticks show symptoms more specific to meningitis and septicaemia and less common in milder illnesses.
  • Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash.
  • Neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion.

Because Meningitis develops so quickly it can be a particularly devastating disease for those affected. It can also have a resounding effect on the surrounding community.

Meningitis Research Foundation supports people affected by this disease through in-depth information and support. They can be contacted on 01 819 6931, via their Freefone Helpline 1800 41 33 44 or at www.meningitis.org.

Rapid identification and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia provides the best chance of survival. However it can be missed because early symptoms resemble other less serious illnesses.

Dr. Fiona Ryan, HSE South Consultant in Public Health Medicine said parents and the public in general should remain vigilant for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Initially the infection may produce symptoms similar to flu - a temperature or feeling unwell.
  • In adults and older children, classical symptoms would include temperature, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea and/or vomiting, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness and joint or muscle pains.
  • Babies and infants may have a high temperature, be fretful or difficult to wake, have a high pitched or moaning cry and have cold hands and feet.
  • Both adults and babies may have a rash of red or purple spots or bruises which can occur anywhere on the body (if a glass is pressed firmly against the rash, the rash will remain visible through the glass).
  • Because not all of these symptoms may appear at once or may appear in any order, anyone in doubt should seek medical advice as soon as possible”.

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