Louise has the support of a foundation dedicated to helping the patient

I AM writing in response to your report (Irish Examiner, August 4) on meningitis survivor Aoife Murray from Co Westmeath who was taken ill with the disease in Medjugorje.

It is heartening to hear that despite suffering such a devastating disease, Aoife has responded well to treatment.

We offer our best wishes and support to Louise and her mother. This is probably a good time to familiarise ourselves with the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, and we wish to reassure people that the Meningitis Trust can provide a wide range of support for people whose lives have been affected by it.

In older children and adults, symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, light aversion, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fitting.

The symptoms in babies include fever cold hands and feet; refusing feeds, vomiting, diarrhoea, a high-pitched moaning cry, dislike of being handled, fretfulness, head held back with an arched back, blank and staring expression, difficulty in waking, pale, blotchy complexion and a bulging fontanelle (soft spot).

Symptoms can appear in any order and all may not appear. Both adults and children may also have a rash.

The Meningitis Trust provides a 24-hour helpline, counselling for affected individuals, awareness training free of charge and home visits by a nurse.

If you would like a free meningitis symptom card or further information about any of our support services, please contact me at the addresses below.

Carole Nealon

Ireland Manager

Meningitis Trust

PO Box 102

Bray

Co Wicklow

Phone: 01 276 2050

Email: carolen@meningitis-trust.ie

www.meningitis-trust.ie

24-hour freephone helpline: 1800 523 196.

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