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Meningitis Awareness Week 8TH-15TH JUNE 2004

Meningitis Awareness Week 8TH-15TH JUNE 2004

Meningitis is every parent’s nightmare. It can kill within hours and no one knows where or whom it will strike next. Each year hundreds of people get meningitis and meningococcal disease, many die, many more are left with devastating side effects.

To date this year, 118 people have contracted meningococcal disease. Of these, 3 have tragically died. however those people affected up to 30 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, however long ago they may have had this disease and what ever the type (bacterial or viral).

Winter is now officially here –meningitis and meningococcal disease incidence is at its highest. However we need to be vigilant all year round. Help us in our fight against meningitis and become an important key player in creating awareness of meningitis in a localised way by joining us in creating a nationwide network of support by distributing our messages and literature to your local community and help to promote our initiatives but most importantly provide support to those people who have been affected by this devastating disease. We also offer one to one contact so where ever you are in NZ we can support you in some way please call our 24 hour helpline 0800 446 087.

June 8th-15th is our Meningitis Awareness Week and the Meningitis Trust will be asking New Zealander’s to take note of the many signs and symptoms of meningitis and meningococcal disease.

General Manager Fiona Colbert says”Knowing the signs is the best way to beat meningitis. It is essential people know the symptoms of this killer disease and we are asking everybody to be vigilant” – see attached symptom card. If you suspect you or someone you know has meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia, 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.

Amcal and Dispensary First Pharmacy are supporting the Meningitis Trust in this Awareness programme during the months of June and July. Pop into your local Amcal or Guardian Pharmacy and pick up a Meningitis symptom card which you can keep in your wallet or put up on your fridge. Help save a life. Meningitis and meningococcal 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 contact Michelle on 09 428 2056 or email info@meningitis-trust.org.nz

We are also seeking volunteers in the North Shore/Hibiscus Coast area to come and join us and help us with our work. If you are interested please contact the Trust. If you want to know more about meningitis, you can look at the Meningitis Trust’s website at: http://www.meningitis-trust.org

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