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Support out there for meningitis victims

Support out there for meningitis victims

Meningitis is every parent’s worst nightmare. The disease has struck again, this time claiming the life of an innocent Waikato child.

And no one knows where or whom it will strike next.

General Manager Fiona Colbert says, ”Knowing the sign is the best way to beat meningitis. Fast action saves lives. It is essential people know the symptoms of this killer disease and we are asking everybody to remain vigilant.”

Each year hundreds of people get meningitis, many die; many more are left with devastating side effects. This year 95 people have contracted meningococcal disease, six of them have died.

There have been many other types of bacterial meningitis, such as pneumococcal and up to 15% of those who have contracted it this year have also tragically died.

25% of those who survive meningitis will have been left with some form of disability such as deafness, brain damage, eyesight problem, loss of a limb, epilepsy, sore or stiff joints, balance problems and depression to name a few. We urge these people to call us for our support

Be aware meningitis is still out there!

If you suspect you or someone you know has meningitis, contact your GP immediately, or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. Early treatment for meningitis is vital. Many sufferers make a full recovery with prompt treatment with antibiotics.

Meningitis and septicaemia (related blood-poisoning) may not always be easy to spot because the symptoms can be similar to those of ‘flu.

If you have been affected by this devastating disease or have a genuine interest in helping us with our work please if you want to know more about meningitis, go to the Meningitis Trust’s website at: www.meningitis-trust.org.nz

notes

Signs and symptoms

Adults and children

Vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, light aversion, drowsiness, joint pain, confusion and cold hands and feet.

Babies

Fever, cold hands and feet, refusing feeds, vomiting, high pitched moaning cry , fretful, arching of the back, blank expression, bulging fontanelle, blotchy.

Vaccination can be the only way to protect our communities and halt these insidious diseases.

Meningitis Trust Services include

24 hour Helpline - 0800 446 087 A free call support line for anyone distressed or anxious about meningitis Counselling Service Available to people affected by meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia. One to One Contact A unique network throughout NZ, for those needing the opportunity to share what happened to them with someone who has had a similar experience. Financial Support Grants applications for funds can be made to assist with the costs incurred after an experience with meningitis or meningococcal disease or a bereavement.

ENDS

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